Global Incubator Programme: business acceleration for SMEs

An acceleration programme for innovative SMEs to grow and scale through exploring the potential of global markets.

This programme is delivered by Innovate UK Business Growth.

The Global Incubator Programme is an acceleration programme for innovative SMEs to grow and scale through exploring the potential of global markets.

To successfully scale your business globally you need to understand the requirements of different markets and build the necessary partnerships, collaborations, and networks.  The Global Incubator Programme supports cohorts of up to 8 innovative UK SMEs to spend time working with world-leading incubators abroad to accelerate their global growth.

Our structured and intensive programme encompasses three-stages to tackle the challenges that most innovative companies face when entering global markets.  The programme provides businesses looking to scale globally with access to world-class mentors and programming, helping to reduce the barriers and the risks.

The programme currently operates with four countries: the USA, Canada, Singapore, and Australia. 

Who is the Global Incubator Programme for?

In order to be eligible for the Global Incubator Programme, you must be a small or medium sized company based in the UK. We are looking for businesses with the ambition and commitment to scale globally.  The programme best suits businesses that already have some traction and sales in the UK that are now looking to innovate their products and services through building global partnerships and collaborations to accelerate their growth and scaling journey.  A senior person from the company needs to commit to being involved in all stages of the programme.

The Global Incubator Programme operates on a competitive basis and businesses selected are required to actively participate in all three stages. The three stages of the programme are as follows:

  • A two-day preparation workshop delivered to the entire cohort in the UK. You will be allocated an Innovate UK Business Growth innovation and growth specialist to work with in the UK who will work with you on your strategic action plan for the programme. You will receive an overview of the innovation and sector landscape of the country’s market, a full briefing on the programme and working with the incubator, and support to better present your business and the value proposition.

  • This 4-6 months stage of the programme is about working with the incubator.  A typical programme will see a visit to the market at the beginning, providing the opportunity to consider technology and market fit, preliminary customer validation and an introduction to ecosystem players.  This will be followed by regular (weekly or fortnightly) virtual sessions with the incubator team, mentors, and experts, to do a deep dive into understanding what it takes to be successful in accessing the market.  The final part is a second visit to the market, including a demo day to showcase the achievements of the cohort, continuing to raise the profile and make connections for the businesses involved.

  • Work with your innovation and growth specialist to continue to exploit the programme, building on all the connections, knowledge, and expertise gained.  You should now be in a much better position with the necessary understanding and networks to accelerate your global growth and scaling journey.

What is the cost of Global Incubator Programme?

The cost to participate in the programme is the time commitment of a senior person from the business. The commitment would include at least two one-week visits, two-three hours of weekly or fortnightly virtual programming and working with mentors for 4-6 months, and time working with an Innovate UK Business Growth innovation and growth specialist.

Innovate UK will fund and organise group flights, group accommodation and group in-market travel for successful applicants. One senior representative from each company will be funded and they should be available to participate in all stages. Additional colleagues can participate in the virtual programming where relevant.

On acceptance to the programme a commitment fee of £2000 will be obtained from each participant, which will be refunded on completion of the full activities and agreed action plan. Non-completion after formal acceptance may result in forfeiting some or all the commitment fee.

Related Opportunities

Global Incubator Programme: Gateway to Australia - AgriTech

Opens: 11/06/2024   Closes: 04/08/2024

Innovate UK seeks up to 8 companies with expertise in AgriTech to participate in a Global Incubator Programme in Australia.

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Global Incubator Programme: India - Urban Systems

Opens: 12/06/2024   Closes: 26/07/2024

Innovate UK seeks up to 10 companies with expertise in Urban Systems to participate in a Global Incubator Programme in India.

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