Lean Launch is a game-changing 10 week online customer discovery programme that allows you to rapidly test whether there is a market for your idea, product or service from the comfort of your workplace/home.
How does it work?
Our 10-week online market discovery programme is designed using lean start-up methodology. Lean start-up takes the scientific method (hypothesise, test, evaluate) and applies it to business ideas. You will learn how to use this approach to test what your potential customers think about your idea, product or service.
Past participants say that having 10-weeks of support and dedicated time to spend on customer discovery has dramatically changed their perspective on their innovation.
‘The guidance the programme and its mentors have given has been invaluable the insight we (the project team) have gained, including, from the clinical interviews has been incredible, and something we wouldn’t have normally done outside our contacts.’
Professor Cheryl Miller, Faculty Lead for Early Career Researchers, Research Lead for Bioengineering and Health Technologies Group (BHT), University of Sheffield
What does it include?
£2,500 for market discovery activities
£1,200 towards Business Advisor support
Offers a pathway towards a further £30,000 of ICURe funding plus follow-on funding support
Game changing online delivery
Our online delivery means that you can contribute to the programme flexibly at times that suit you.
Access to experts in bringing research to market
You will have weekly access to our team of experts and we will proactively connect you to our network of entrepreneurs, investors and funders.
We will create a personalised report which includes data about your potential customers, competitors and suppliers plus a comprehensive overview of the intellectual property landscape for your sector.
2-day online bootcamp where you will learn how to talk about your technology to customers, develop a hypothetical business model and identify your customers' pain points.
10-week Market Validation
You will plan and execute 10 weeks of tailored customer discovery for your idea, product or service using online software, videoconferencing and marketing tools. You will receive weekly 1-hour coaching clinics from experts in taking research ideas to market.
1-day online pitch training to teach you how to pitch your ideas to potential customers and investors.
Options Roundabout Pitches
You will have the opportunity to pitch to an experienced panel of funders, stakeholders and investors to help accelerate the impact from your research.
Who is eligible?
The Lean Launch Programme has received funding from InnovateUK to widen participation of University teams from across all UK Universities into the 4-month ICURe programme.
This programme offers a pathway towards further funding, with 30% of our teams securing a minimum of £30,000 InnovateUK ICURe funds.
The programme is open to all UK universities, however, we are actively seeking applications from:
- Universities who have not participated in the 4-month ICURe programme.
- Universities who do not receive HEIF funding.
- Teams led by early career researchers and/or principal investigators who are from under-represented groups including women, people of colour, those living with disabilities and those from the LGBTQI+ communities.
- Teams from regional Universities.
We accept innovations from any discipline or background, but are particularly interested in projects in Health, Climate Change and Digital innovation.
To be eligible, you must be an early career researcher (from Ph.D. to post-doctoral researcher) and be able to build a team that includes a principal investigator (PI) and a representative from your University Technology Transfer Office (TTO).
A pathway towards future ICURe funding
Our past Lean Launch Programme participants have gone on to secure a minimum of £30,000 of ICURe funding grants and launch their businesses.
Read about their journeys here!
"Lean Launch provided us with the insight we needed to get a better understanding of our value proposition."
Dr Hala Dhowre, University of Liverpool
Pharmacologist and Post-doctoral researcher
Winner of Best Pitch and Most Engaged Research at Lean Launch Pitch Day (2020)
How do I apply?
The online application form will ask you a series of questions about you, your team and your project. It will be a competitive process. You will need to have engaged with your University Technology Transfer Office (TTO) and your Principal Investigator prior to applying.
"The programme allowed us to create a clear vision and value proposition to talk to companies confidently about our nanoparticles."
Dr Inam Ul Ahad, Dublin City University
Research Development Manager and Biomedical Engineer (2019)
Have you got questions about the programme?
We'd love to hear from you with any questions you have about the programme or how it works.
Click the button below to email our Lean Start-Up Programme Manager Kat Maguire.
Upcoming programme dates
Lean Launch Cohort 10
Applications for our next cohort are now open.
Closing date: Monday 22nd March 2021 at 12pm.
The programme will run between 12th April and 25th June 2021.
- Welcome call: Monday 12th April 3-4.30pm
- Bootcamp: Thursday 15th April and Friday 16th April 2021*
- Coaching calls: Wednesdays 10am-11am
- Pitch Training: Friday 18th June 2021*
- Options Roundabout Pitch event: Friday 25th June (Electronics, Space and Engineering Panel) and Monday 28th June (Life, Health and Social Sciences Panel)
*Event will be delivered online between 9.30am-4.30pm, with 1.5 hour lunch break + coffee breaks
Lean Launch Cohort 11
Applications for Cohort 11 will open on 31st May 2021.
Closing date: Monday 28th June 2021 at 12pm.
The programme will run between 19th July and 30th September 2021.
- Welcome call: Monday 19th July 3-4.30pm
- Bootcamp: Wednesday 21st & Thursday 22nd July 2021*
- Coaching calls: Wednesday 3-4pm
- Pitch Training: Thursday 23rd September 2021*
- Options Roundabout Pitch event: Wednesday 29th September (Electronics, Space and Engineering Panel) & Thursday 30th September (Life, Health and Social Sciences Panel)
*Event will be delivered online between 9.30am-4.30pm, with 1.5 hour lunch break + coffee breaks.