evolve Accelerator Programme 2023

Are you an Essex entrepreneur looking to turn your side-hustle into a career? Started a business but need help getting things off the ground? Apply for evolve!

evolve is an exciting nine-month accelerator programme run by the Essex Startups team. We’re looking for the 15 most ambitious and innovative ventures from Essex staff, students, and alumni to work with. The bolder, the better!

If you’re a business in the MVP stage, or have just launched to your first customers, apply for evolve and get access a range of support worth £20,000!

Apply now via CareerHub

Application deadline: 29 January 2023

How it works...

Starting a new business is hard; in fact, many won’t even make it past their first year. That’s because it takes more than a good idea to make your business work.

Our accelerator programme will help you build a strong foundation and develop the tools you need to kickstart your business and make it a long-term success.

What's included?

For the first three months, you’ll attend weekly engaging workshops and talks hosted by a guest speaker in Studio X. You’ll hear from business founders, industry professionals, and subject experts. This is an opportunity to get inspired, to ask questions, and start introducing new approaches into your business planning.

At the end of this intensive period, you'll take everything you’ve learned so far and pitch for up to £3,000 of funding at our Pitch Event.

Over the remaining six-months, you'll undertake a period of self-working with additional coaching and support provided by our mentors. You’ll also have access to our co-working space, Studio X, becoming part of our thriving start-up ecosystem and making important connections with other early stage businesses.

When does it start?

evolve starts in February with a two-day induction - Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 February 2023.

Following the induction, the weekly workshops will take place every Monday until 8 May.

You must be able to commit to the full programme to be eligible for the Pitch Event.

View the evolve Accelerator Programme 2023 brochure (.pdf)

Eligibility and involvement

The evolve Accelerator Programme is open to current students and members of staff at the University of Essex, and alumni who have graduated in the past three years. A member of your founding team must adhere to one of these criteria at the time of application.

We will consider businesses who are:

  • At prototype or MVP stage
  • Have already launched to customers
  • Have already started generating revenue
  • We will not be accepting businesses in the ideas stage, unless considerable preparatory work has already been undertaken.

One member of each venture must attend every session to be eligible for the final pitch event. Failure to attend more than one session may result in suspension from the programme. We will consider this based on individual circumstances/lecture attendance.

The evolve programme is about community and collaboration. We ask that all participants not only focus on furthering their own endeavours, but also to contribute to the development others.

Throughout the programme, you should actively engage with the Essex Startups Team and your cohort. Bring an open mind, a curiosity to learn, and a respectful attitude toward staff, peers, and external guests.

Deadline for applications: 29 January 2023

Apply now via CareerHub