Great Things Happen When People Get Together
Support for Worcestershire Innovators
At WINN, we know that great things happen when innovative people get together and that’s why we are delighted to announce our ongoing mission to support the growth and collaboration of new ideas in the region is being boosted, as we have secured further funding of £5.1m to support innovative projects in Worcestershire.
This means that more businesses and innovators in the county can increase their knowledge, share ideas, make the most of available resources and compete in new markets both here in the UK and overseas.
The WINN vision has always been to provide an innovative community, where new ideas can grow, gain support and get to market, and our new programme is going to be better than ever.
From 2019, the WINN offering is growing to offer a holistic support programme for budding innovators and growing businesses. The newly secured funding from ERDF, which is supported by the Worcestershire LEP, Worcestershire County Council and the Central Technology Belt, will support three main streams of activity:
- WINN – support, guidance and collaboration opportunities for innovators
- Proof of Concept – grant funding for innovators
- BetaDen – tech accelerator for entrepreneurs and scale up businesses
Combine that with our growing support team, who we will introduce later, and you can see why you could be winning with WINNs in 2019 and beyond!
Let’s look at the three different ways that we can support your innovative ideas and businesses going forward:
WINN (Worcestershire Innovation)
The ever-popular WINN Wednesday events will be part of our ongoing activity, providing networking opportunities for like-minded innovative individuals and businesses across Worcestershire. Here the WINN community tackle topics from technology in agriculture, to funding your innovation, with the next event on the 10th April exploring ways to get to know your suppliers, customers and support available because by ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ the winner really can take it all.
Also set to continue are WINN District Events, inspirational blog ‘theConversation’ and the Make it Happen Challenge – our innovation scheme that invites businesses to submit their plans and potentially win cash and sponsorship to get their ideas off the ground.
Proof of Concept
Our new programme of support includes the return of the highly successful Proof of Concept Grant Fund, which we launched at our recent WINN Wednesday event.
Proof of Concept is designed to encourage start-up and established businesses in Worcestershire to create innovative new products and processes, supporting projects that develop early stage ideas and helping get new inventions to market.
During the last phase of funding, we supported a total of 58 businesses and local inventors to develop new products including high-tech radios, wearable safety devices, and a pet product that later featured on Dragons Den. This time around we have grants of up to £30,000 available on a match-fund basis – 40% is covered by the grant fund and 60% must be match-funded by the business. Eligible businesses need to be based in Worcestershire and trading over 70% business-to-business.
We’re really excited that this new round of funding and support includes BetaDen, Worcestershire’s first tech accelerator. Launched in October 2018 and co-located with one of the UK’s first 5G testbeds, BetaDen helps position businesses at the forefront of technology. Cohort members of BetaDen have access to Proof of Concept funding, with 100% of funding up to the value of £15,000 provided by Worcestershire LEP and ERDF.
Our team are the first port of call if you need more info on WINN and the new funding streams we have available:
Senior Project Manager
Proof of Concept Project Manager
Project Support Officer
Simon de Garis
Project Support Officer
WINN brings innovators together, acting as a catalyst to create connections and collaborations across the diverse business landscape of Worcestershire.
Our belief is that great things can happen when people get together.
WINN is a Worcestershire Innovation Programme formed by Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire LEP