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UK Tech Startup Programme application deadline 15th July 22 | Apply now

Nova Tech Startup Programme

Mentorship, investment and full business team to build and grow
your startup.


Programme Timings

  1. Application Form | Deadline 15th July 2022

    Complete the short application form, letting us know about yourself, your startup, and the evidence you’ve gathered so far to suggest it will be successful. You will receive feedback on your application and next steps on or before 25th July 2022 (please check SPAM / promotions folder if not received).

  2. Lean Canvas & Online Modules | Deadline 15th August 2022

    Complete the foundations and ideation online modules where you’ll learn the fundamentals of building a successful lean startup. You’ll create and submit a lean canvas and traction roadmap which will be the framework you’ll use to raise investment.

  3. Workshops, Coaching | Throughout July & August

    You’ll attend webinars hosted by industry experts, receive weekly 1-2-1 mentoring, and collaborate with your cohort founder peers. All designed to get you and your startup ready to pitch to our investment panel.

  4. Demo Day | 5th September 2022

    Here you’ll be pitching for £300,000 investment and offer of partnership to jointly build and grow your startup with Nova. If successful the investment is delivered as Nova team resource and cash. You will complete a 10-minute pitch to our investment panel followed by Q&A. Successful founders will be notified within 7 days.

How we work with founders

  1. Firstly we mentor (pre-investment)

    Founders receive one-to-one coaching and support through our startup programme. Here we prove the validity of the problem, find users and develop a business plan to pitch to our investors.

  2. Secondly we explore (pre & post-investment)

    We explore whether we are delivering desirable, feasible and viable solutions for the problem, through prototyping and real user feedback collected by the founder.

  3. Thirdly we build (post-investment)

    Using continual feedback we evolve the prototype into a commercial product and work with the founder to validate a viable business plan and prove company growth.

  4. Finally we grow and scale (post-investment)

    Now we have the fundamentals of a startup and a proven business model our focus shifts to growing and then scaling the company.

What we offer

What we're
looking for

"Ambitious founders and teams at the pre-seed stage. Including solo-founders with just an idea; small teams with a prototype or MVP; or teams and established companies that are pre-significant funding or traction.

We're looking for people who are passionate about the problem they're trying to solve. We can then work alongside them, through our proven process, to accelerate their development into successful tech startups."

Andy Davidson




How much time will I have to commit?

As with anything the more time you can put into the programme the better progress you will make. On average it takes founders around a week to complete the online Leanstack modules, with actual time spent being around 7-10 hours. At this point you will be invited to meet with the Nova team to discuss the outputs and agree next steps as you prepare to pitch for investment.

Is there any charge to join the programme?

No, the programme is completely free to join and participate in. At the end of the programme you will have the opportunity to pitch to our investment panel, if successful the investment received would be in exchange for equity. However this is completely optional, there is no contractual agreement to accept this and it is not a prerequisite to join.

Can I complete this around work commitments?

Yes the programme has been designed specifically for working entrepreneurs to fit around your existing commitments. The online learning via Leanstack can be completed at your convenience. Any webinars or group work sessions try to be scheduled outside of typical office hours, and sessions are always recorded and shared afterward if you can’t make it. 1-2-1 calls and feedback may need to happen within working hours, however our team is incredibly flexible and will do best to accommodate your needs.
Post investment, if successful we like founders to stay in their work (particularly if it’s related to your startups market) for the first 9 month period whilst we continue to validate your startup. At the end of this period we typically look to raise further investment at which point the business should be established enough to bring you full time into the business.

What are the key stages throughout the programme?

Pre Investment you will;

  • Complete the Leanstack online programme and submit 3 deliverables for review (traction roadmap, lean canvas and elevator pitch).
  • Have a 1-2-1 session with a member of the Nova team to review your business and advise your startups ‘venture readiness’ and next steps
  • Attend webinars, group sessions and 1-2-1 mentoring from our team of startup experts
  • Once assessed as venture ready, you’ll be invited to pitch for £300,000 investment.
  • Receive detailed feedback on the reason for or against investment. It’s possible that you’ll be asked to complete more evidence / validation gathering tasks, once completed, founders can come back and re-pitch.

Post Investment;

  • After a yes from our investment committee over the next couple of weeks our team will work with you on the completion of legals, investment paperwork and due diligence.
  • You are matched with a Nova product manager who will assemble your Nova startup team who will work with you to establish goals and the best use of the investment on Nova resource and cash spend.
  • You’ll work closely with the Nova team for an initial 3 x 3 month chunks of work. With check ins with the investment team at 3 monthly intervals to review progress against agreed milestones.
  • Pending a successful first 9 months of progress with milestones being achieved, we’ll provide follow on investment and continued team support as we continue to build and grow your startup.

What is the programme's eligibility criteria?

We ask that you are;

  • Located within any region of the UK
  • At an early stage of developing your startup (i.e. you haven’t already raised investment)
  • Working on a project that will utilise tech at its core
  • Working on a project that we believe has the ability to scale quickly in terms of revenue and impact
  • Willing to commit to and follow our programme of guidance and support.

Can I apply if I am non-technical?

Yes, approximately 90% of our founders are non-technical. If you don’t come from a technical background but have strong beliefs formed from working in industry we’d welcome an application from you. Our most successful companies have been built by co-founders with a strong domain expertise who have utilised our technical expertise and combined built a great business.

Start your startup journey by applying for Nova Tech Startup Programme

"I'm really glad I partnered with Nova to create Umii, I truly couldn't have achieved what we have without their support. As a solo founder, and someone quite new to the startup world, their support has been invaluable. Not only with product development, but the marketing, finance and business development functions have all played a huge part in getting Umii to where it is today."

Georgia Wheadon, founder of Umii

"The team at Nova have really challenged my thinking and the direction I wanted to take the business. Without their support I’d have gone to market with the wrong product! They’ve really been hands-on, not only with the product development, but in ensuring that the whole business has been tested and is right; and we’re really benefiting from that now."

Ben Sweeney, founder of VidiVet

"I’m not from the startup world, I’m a medic at heart. I came to NOVA with the problem of hand-hygiene compliance in hospitals. They’ve helped me to find a solution, provided me with the technical team to build it and now are helping me to scale it into a successful, profitable business."

Richard Cooke, founder of Hy-genie

Take the first step to building a successful startup with Nova by applying for our startup programme