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Applying to InnovationRCA

We run an annual selection process for students wishing to receive patent support prior to the show and for entry into the College's Start-up Programme.

Our Selection Criteria

Our criteria for selection for awarding funding and a place in our incubator are as follows:

  • The overall strength of the business case including scaleable market, solution, business model
  • The potential, credibility, cohesiveness and skill mix of the team and its obvious eagerness to succeed
  • Consistency and realism of the action plan and the request for funding
  • The added value the InnovationRCA incubator can bring to the venture

Our Selection Process

The application process is split into two parts

  • Applications for patent support ahead of the SHOWRCA. Applications for patent support will open on the 18th March 2020, and close on the 18th May 2020.
  • Applications for start-up support, with applications for that programme opening on the 9th June 2020 and closing on the 7th Juy 2020.

Patent support application 

  • For students who have an invention with commercial potential and require patent support prior to exhibiting at SHOWRCA 2020. 
  • Applicants must be willing to build a team around the invention and form a start-up

Start-up support application

  • This is the call for applications from start-ups and wannabe start-ups requiring business support from InnovationRCA and wishing to join the programme. 

So you've applied, what next?

  • Patent support shortlisting and judging panels take place
  • Start-up support shortlisting takes place
  • Shortlisted start-ups attend Launchpad Summer School July 2020

Launchpad Summer School offers the you the first taste of what is on offer at InnovationRCA's start-up programme. It also affords the InnovationRCA team the opportunity to get to know you better. You like what you see, now what?

At the end of Launchpad, a panel will select projects to progress to Pitch Week 2020. You'll receive extra training before pitching for funding, a place in the Battersea incubator and start-up programme, and access to InnovationRCA's network of investors. Selected projects will pitch to a panel of investors and representatives of the College.

You'll find out if you have been successful shortly after. What's the prize?

  • You will be invited to join the InnovationRCA start-up programme
  • You will become a member of AngelClubRCA and have access to investment from InnovationRCA Fund 1, a fund dedicated to investing in RCA start-ups
  • InnovationRCA will assist you in raising SEIS/EIS funds and building your business

It's all about teamwork

We believe that a balanced team comprising creative, technical and commercial skills is vital to nurturing a start-up therefore you will take part in team formation events in order to build strong multidisciplinary teams.

So you've got the idea, your place in the incubator and the team to make your start-up work. What happens next?

Over the course of the summer and early autumn InnovationRCA will help you start your company. A team of expert mentors and highly experienced entrepreneurs will coach you on your business proposal and investment pitching technique.

In addition to our standard offer of seed funds, business mentoring, office space in the InnovationRCA incubator and access to the RCA workshops, successful applicants are invited to join the RCA’s business angel network, AngelClubRCA.
AngelClubRCA connects angel investors to RCA start-ups and prepares them to pitch for typically £150,000. The club not only provides our graduate start-ups with additional finance, but also access to commercially experienced angels with valuable networks.  

Start-ups joining the club get:

  • Help with company formation
  • Help with advance SEIS/EIS assurance
  • Investment readiness training
  • Free access to experienced investors

Successful applicants will also be introduced to InnovationRCA Fund 1 Managers. InnovationRCA Fund 1 is an SEIS/EIS early stage investment fund, managed by Venrex Investment Management which invests in RCA start-ups.

Timeline 2020

18 March
Patent Support Applications open

18 May
Patent Support Application Deadline (midday)

8 June
Patent Support Selection Panel

9 June
Start-up Programme Applications open

7 July
Start-up Programme Application Deadline (midday)

20-24 July
Start-up Programme Launchpad Summer School 2020

27-29 July
Start-up programme Pitch Week

Frequently Asked Questions