For many CRL Accelerator cohort members, moving on to the CRL BOOST programme was always going to be the next natural step…And why not?
Since its launch, BOOST has supported more than 40 growing businesses, and many of the hardware entrepreneurs that took part have continued to do amazing things.
BOOST was originally set up to help established startups, developing innovative tech hardware, to scale up their businesses. It worked with small groups and focused on supporting them in developing robust business strategies, securing investment and improving leadership skills. Now, in order to spread the love, CRL is introducing an exciting new BOOST programme, for early 2020, which will allow around 50 highly ambitious and scalable hardware startups to take part at any one time.
BOOST 2020 will deliver intensive support, designed to help entrepreneurs navigate the early stages of their business development, through a series of five one-day events spread over five months.
CRL Managing Director, Toby Kress explains, “CRL has access to excellent industry partners and we’ve pooled our resources to produce what we hope will become the best event for tech hardware startups in the UK. Each one-day event will be hosted at U+I in central London and will be a mix of talks, interactive workshops and 1-2-1 surgeries, delivered by our inhouse team and partnering experts.
“We’ve got a range of innovative tech partners signed up including: Mouser, Analogue Devices, Women of Wearables and SolidWorks. Together, they bring a set of skills, networks and resources, to the programme that will make it a unique and invaluable experience. These won’t be passive events. Every startup that’s involved can expect to make key connections and hear from inspiring entrepreneurs who will share their stories. They will also learn lean startup concepts and agile development practices and meet leading engineers who can help them with their specific technical challenges.”
Day 1: Designing the right product: Understanding and testing the market is key to building the right product. This first session in the series will give entrepreneurs the tools to gain deep customer insights, and rapidly test their solutions, with the support of incredible designers, engineers and entrepreneurs.
Day 2: Building the right product: There are lots of challenges facing hardware startups and it’s not easy making physical products. Development cycles are long and expensive, supply chains are complex, and mistakes are costly. The second session in the series will help to unlock the mysteries behind getting a product made to a high standard, and what’s needed to go from prototyping to production-ready.
Day 3: Sales and marketing: Getting sales and distribution right is key to business success. The third session in the series will help entrepreneurs communicate effectively with customers and other key stakeholders. Expert partners will advise on B2C and B2B marketing strategies and communications, forming strategic partnerships, and branding and sales.
Day 4: Investor readiness: Most startups will need a source of external investment at some point. The fourth session in the series will explain the investment landscape including: angel investment, venture capital, grants and crowdfunding. It will help entrepreneurs find the right path for their business, create the business plan and collateral needed to succeed, and develop their pitching skills.
Day 5: Meet investors and buyers: The fifth, and final, event in the series will include panel discussions followed by speed dating where every participant will get the opportunity to sit down with five investors/buyers including: leading angel groups and venture capital, grant funders and support agents, crowdfunding platforms, retail buyers from top UK brands and entrepreneurs who have successfully raised funding and can share their tips for success.
If you’re an established hardware entrepreneur who wants to give your business a BOOST, and think you might be eligible for the programme, you can find out more here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
BOOST programme is fully funded, and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), so it’s free for eligible businesses.
BOOST 2020 is now open for new members. The sooner you apply the sooner you can take the next steps to scaling up your business!