How to apply

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

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 scalable 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

Please note all dates are subject to confirmation.

The application process is split into two parts

  • Applications for patent support ahead of the SHOWRCA
  • Applications for start-up support

Patent support application 

  • For students who have an invention with commercial potential and require patent support prior to exhibiting at SHOWRCA 2018
  • 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
  • Wates Giving Social Enterprise Fellowships are also up for grabs and will be selected from this pool of applicants

So you've applied, what next?

  • Patent support shortlisting and judging panels take place
  • Start-up support shortlisting takes place with socially minded projects going forward to a Wates judging panel
  • Shortlisted start-ups and Wates Fellows ALL attend Launchpad Summer School

Launchpad Summer School offers the you the first taste of what is on offer at InnovationRCA's start-up programme. It also affords the Innovation 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 July 2018 (dates TBC). 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 AngelClubRCA. Selected projects will pitch to a panel of investors and representatives of the RCA at the end of July 2018.

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
  • 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

To apply for an endorsement for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa you must take part in the annual start-up selection process. Please ensure you understand the visa requirements.  

Find out about Graduate Entrepreneur Tier 1 Visas