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Frequently Asked Questions

InnovationRCA: Creative Brand Accelerator

When does the programme start and end?
The Accelerator Programme will start with a welcome event on 26 September (PM) with workshops/coaching commencing on 2 October. The programme will finish towards the end of March.

Will I be expected to attend an interview?
Applications will be reviewed by a panel of business mentors. We may ask some candidates to attend an interview to take place on either the 29 or 20 August TBC.

What level would you expect my business to be at?
There are no strict rules on this, we are hoping to take on a mix of businesses at different stages of development, however, it may help if you are developing product lines and have an idea of the directions in which you might like to focus your business.

What is the structure of the programme and what topics will be covered?
The accelerator will be split into two stages. An initial three-month foundation stage will consist of workshops run by specialist business mentors. The second stage will focus on validation of your business through exposure to potential buyers and investors.

It is important that you attend ALL sessions to enable you to complete the programme successfully. You will have access to the programme lead mentor and will receive coaching on topics including product development, sales and marketing, branding, leadership and finance. This will be supplemented by training from sector expert coaches anticipated to cover topics such as fashion, textiles, ceramics, homeware and jewellery and accessories.

How will training be delivered?
Training will be delivered through one to one mentoring complemented by group seminars and events.

What time commitment will I need to make?
Mentoring will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with a full timetable to be provided to each participant ahead of programme kick-off. At this stage it is anticipated that there will be around 35 contact days over the programme. Additional time may be required to act on recommendations and advice from your mentors.

Is there opportunity for me to gain investment through the Creative Brand Accelerator
As part of the programme we will host investor events allowing you to pitch to venture capitalists, philanthropists and other donors. However, we will only present you to investors when we feel you are ready.

What facilities are available to me whilst I take part in the Creative Brand Accelerator?
You will have hot-desking space at the InnovationRCA Incubator which is based at the Battersea Campus. You will have access to specialist college wide facilities.

I require a visa to attend the programme, can InnovationRCA help me with this?
In exceptional cases Start-up Visas may be arranged for successful applicants who are within a year of graduation from the RCA (2019 graduates).

Can we join as a team?
Yes, we welcome applications from teams. In fact, we believe that teams are important when building a business.

Do I have to be connected to the RCA to take part?
The founder (or in the case of teams, one of the founders) must be an RCA student or graduate.

From looking at your website, it seems that most of the companies you have backed are technical. Are you the best place for me to apply with my creative business?
Yes, we have been preparing the accelerator for quite some time and have a rich line-up of brand and retail experts to help coach and mentor you.

Will there be any opportunities to meet buyers during the accelerator programme?
Yes, we believe that customer discovery and marketing testing are vital activities.

I have a studio already, am I expected to spend all my time at InnovationRCA?
No, as mentioned above, you will be expected to attend on key dates according to the timetable. You are welcome to use the hot-desking space at other times.

Do I have to pay to take part in the Creative Brand Accelerator?
The college is offering this support to its students and graduates to help them get their businesses on a stronger commercial footing. We know that cash is a precious commodity for small businesses, and whilst it does cost a great deal to offer the accelerator service, there is no cash fee.

Will I get the opportunity to raise investment?
The RCA, alongside its investment partners, will consider investing in participating businesses in exchange for a notional equity share. The intention would be that this would, over time, make a return to InnovationRCA, allowing it to continue offering innovative support programmes to future students and graduates.