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Frequently asked questions

If you have any additional questions that have not been answered here please don't hesistate to contact us

Our Programme

Are you a startup accelerator or an incubator?

Neither. We have taken the best elements from accelerator and incubator programmes and added several additional features that make our offering unique. Our programme is specifically designed to address and nullify the top 5 reasons for startup failure. Our process is called a ‘co-foundery’ and the key elements of it are:

  • We start early - we focus on working with startups in their very early stages, often at ideas stage, when there’s little other support available from investors, accelerators or incubators

  • We don’t ask for any financial investment from you

  • You can do this part time - we ask for just 1 day a week during the first 12 months. This can be done remotely and around your existing work commitments

  • We provide an experienced team to build and launch your startup for the first twelve months

  • We share the risk and the reward - rather than charge a fee for our services, we share equity in each of the startups we co-found

You can read more detail about what makes our model unique here

Will you sign an NDA before I share my startup idea?

No. This is normal for all investment funds and angels alike. There’s a great article that explains this in further detail here.

The best approach is for you to apply for our programme discussing the problem you have found that you want to solve, this is where we asses value - you don’t have to cover the specific detail of the solution, as it will likely change throughout the first 12 months of our process anyway.

Do you only work with tech startups?

Yes. We are fundamentally a company with technical expertise in the startup process for software and hardware solutions. We only engage in partnerships with founders if the problem you are attempting to solve can have a tech based solution.

How can I sign up?

You should apply for our mentorship and investment programme, where you will be required to outline the problem or opportunity you seek to explore with your startup. Once you have completed this, a member of our mentorship team will be in touch to give you an update on the next steps. Please fill out the form here.

What if my startup fails?

In the event of failure, we have one of two options. You as the founder can call it a day and accept that the idea did not work and continue to work in your day job, or you can start the programme with us again if an alternative problem has been uncovered throughout the process. Remember, there is no financial risk for you during our process and all you will have lost is the time spent working on your idea.

How much time will I need to dedicate to my startup?

As part of the NOVA deal, we request that our founders give up 1 day a week to work on their business idea. However, we advise our founders it is likely that this will extend into some evenings and weekends as well during the first 12 months. A key benefit of co-founding your startup with NOVA is that you can do it alongside your existing work commitments, maintaining a regular income.

I’m quite far down the line in developing my startup, is there any way of pitching to the investors anyway?

Our process starts from the very beginning, developing early stage startups using our proven methodologies and processes to give them the best chance of success. We hesitate to put founders directly in front of our investors if Nova have not been involved in validating the problem being solved. This is because our investors want to see pitches that have followed our process.

If you are happy to re-explore the problem your startup is centred on by going through our process, or an expedited version of it, there could still be an opportunity to work together.

If I get investment through your programme, how much will I get?

If you’re successful in receiving investment for your startup we will raise enough money to give you full resource of the Nova startup team for 12 months; over two raises. This can be upto an equivalent of £300k investment into the resources that will be used to build and launch your startup.

Can I get paid a salary out of the investment?

Not for the first 12 months. However during this period our process requires just 1 day per week of your time which allows you to build and launch your startup whilst keeping your current job, and salary coming in.

Do I need to invest any of my own money / how much do I need to invest?

The NOVA programme does not require any capital investment from you. This means that it’s possible to build and launch a startup without you spending any of your own money.

Our team

What teams/services do you offer as part of your programme?

We have an experienced team of designers, hardware and software developers, business consultants, product owners, financiers, marketeers, videographers and more. All of these services are available to our startups post investment. We build startup teams, specific to the individual needs of your startup, designed to build, launch and progress your startup as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. You can find out more about our team here.

Do I need to be a coder/ programmer?

No. All we ask of our founders is that you have strong domain understanding (i.e. if you wanted to develop a product for teachers, you should have a thorough understanding of the teaching and education sector) and display the characteristics of a great tech founder. We have a full technical team available to build both hardware and software products, effectively we become your technical co-founder (plus much more).

Location

Can I apply for Nova’s tech startup programme if I’m based outside of the UK?

Our programme can be delivered remotely, either 100% or with regular visits to one of our office spaces in the UK. We have successfully built startups with founders based across the UK and internationally. The only limitation to this currently is that we ask that our founders are able to commit to visiting our HQ in Liverpool when pitching to our investment panel.

Testimonials

Can you give me some examples of successful startups from your process?

We have co-founded almost 100 businesses that have received investment from our cofoundery process, spanning multiple sectors including digital health, ed-tech and Fin-Tech and more. Check out some of our case studies or if you require any professional references a member of our mentorship team would be happy to provide a list of contacts who can provide these.

If you have any additional questions that have not been answered here please don’t hesitate to contact us

Start your startup with Nova, apply for our tech startup mentorship and investment programme