If you have a business idea you would like to put into action, Launch Space can help you do just that. We’ll give you desk space, business support, and expert mentoring for up to 12 months, so you can focus on achieving great things.
Applications open year-round.
Why choose Launch Space?
- Grow your ideas with the support of our existing and alumni founders – Launch Space is home to existing graduate-led businesses at various stages on the start-up journey, so you'll be working alongside others who have a common goal of making their vision a success.
- Develop your value proposition – Turn your pre-commercial ideas into successful business enterprises.
- Dedicate time to your business – Spend up to 12 months developing your idea with the support of our in-house team.
- Innovate and develop prototypes - Free desk space for you and your team to work together developing solutions.
- Immerse yourself in a dynamic and supportive environment – Be part of an entrepreneurial community well connected to the wider University, with support on hand when you need it.
- Access great minds and facilities – Build relationships with academics and make use of our fantastic campus facilities.
- Help to raise funds – from grant-funding to equity investment, the team will work with you to develop your applications, your pitch, and your go-to-market strategy, so you can find the best funding for your project.
Am I eligible?
We work with a range of people, from recent graduates and first-time founders, to experienced entrepreneurs and businesses exploring new technologies. The Launch Space incubator and accelerator could be the place for you if you're in the early stages of developing your business. We're specifically looking for those that are working on innovation across key themes:
- Health and wellbeing technologies
- Creative industries and technologies
- Digital futures
- Sustainability and climate change resilience.
Support at Launch Space
As an entrepreneur in our incubator, you will benefit from:
- Up to 12 months free desk space to work on solutions alongside other entrepreneurs
- one-to-one mentoring with our dedicate Incubation Manager and Technical Mentor
- Business frameworks delivered by our in-house team, to guide you through the critical stages of development
- access to expert advisory services across vital themes, such as intellectual property (IP), finance, and legal
- regular community events with Future Space, including coffee mornings and monthly networking over pizza!
With access to communal networking areas, use of professional meeting rooms, and on-site hot-desks, you can get ready to launch your business.
Prototyping or building your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
Launch Space is co-located with the Bristol Robotics Laboratory Hardware Incubator, offering free workbench space, access to shared equipment, and regular technician drop-ins. Speak to us to find out more about how you can access this additional specialist support.
Our newly renovated incubation space sits at the heart of the University Enterprise Zone on Frenchay Campus.
Using an innovative approach with Opendesk for the main furniture, the brand-new space has co-working desks, individual workbenches, a large meeting space, and collaborative zones.
Funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Digital Innovation4Growth programme and the West of England Combined Authority, has enabled the purchase of additional tools and equipment to support incubator tenants.
Further information about using Launch Space
See below answers to common questions.
Does my business need to be registered?
To access Launch Space, you need to either register a company (in order to get a company number) or register as a sole trader with HMRC.
We recognise that you may have a business idea without having got to the stage of formally setting up the business itself. We offer pre-incubation support through our Start Programme to help you start your entrepreneurial journey.
What are the implications for my intellectual property (IP)?
Launch Space and, by association, the University of the West of England does not take an ownership stake in any companies, and similarly does not have a stake in intellectual property you generate before, during, or after your residency.
What do you mean by Research and Development (R&D)?
Research and development (R&D) is activity aimed at achieving a new advance of some kind (technological, scientific or otherwise) in an industry or within the business itself. It usually draws on existing knowledge – gained from practical experience, previous research, knowledge of competitors or just a great new idea – that is directed at producing new or improved products, technologies, devices, materials, processes, systems or services. Basically, it’s work you undertake to create something completely new, or that is better than what has come before it.
What if I have an idea but not a formal business yet?
We recognise that you may have a business idea without having got to the stage of formally setting up the business itself. Talk to us if you want to know more about how we can help - contact the Launch Space team. We also offer pre-incubation support through our Start Programme to help you start your entrepreneurial journey.
What do you mean by innovation and technology?
Launch Space is focused on businesses developing innovative solutions and technology.
Do you know what is new/different about your product/service? Is it an existing product that you are applying to a new market? Is it totally new? We’re looking for those that are working on products, services, and business models, that are both novel and useful.
Technology might include anything from a revolutionary mobile app or SaaS platform to fabric technology, sensors, and robotics.