Cash available for innovative business ideas

  • Date

    Tue 30 Mar 21

Budding innovators are being offered the opportunity to bid for funding to progress their ground- breaking business ideas through a Dragon’s Den-style pitching event.

Over £160,000 is available and applicants will need to persuade the judges their highly innovative idea is worth investing in. 

Organised by the University of Essex, and supported by Barclays Eagle Labs, the demo pitching event will take place on Zoom on Tuesday 25 May.

John Stenhouse, Business Support Manager at the University’s Knowledge Gateway, explained: “As a designated University Enterprise Zone we are able to support, both practically and financially,  new innovative digital and creative businesses in Essex.

“We have already awarded more than £100,000 to five fledgling businesses this year, and now have a further £160,000 of Research England funding to invest in great ideas. Thanks to our partnership with Barclays, additional funding may also be available for some lucky contestants.”

To take part in the event, all applicants must be based in Essex and need to be registered by the 11 May deadline, with the Angels@Essex platform – which matches potential investors with businesses needing funding to grow.

Free practical advice on preparing a pitch is available through the University’s Space to Grow programme.

The businesses who received funding from earlier events were:

Bidnstay – to develop an auction platform for late-availability accommodation, helping owners to increase occupancy and travellers to find the best deal.

WYSPR – a ‘friendvertising’ platform, which works on the premise that people trust their friends more than strangers, so matches up companies wanting to advertise with individuals willing to promote their products.

Conigital – which aims to make getting around much easier for people with disabilities by providing them with an app allowing them to book on-demand journeys using their retrofit driverless vehicles.

Citispotter -  keeping critically harmful content out of communications channels, saving busines reputations and making business communication safe.

Foodilize – bringing together food and socialising.

More information is available online or email: