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Fuelling the future: Grants for tech startups

Starting a business, developing a new product, or pursuing a creative endeavor can be an exciting and fulfilling journey, but it can also be an incredibly challenging one. Securing the right funding in order to bring your idea to life is an essential part of the process. We don’t believe that brilliant ideas should be held back from finding the right resources so we’ve pulled together an overview of what grant support is available in the UK, and how to access it in order to help you hit the ground running. Whether you're just starting out or are looking to take your business to the next level, being aware of the grants available to you is the first step in taking advantage of funding programmes that promote innovation and growth.

Ready to take your wearable technology business to the next level? Then it’s time to read on and discover how they can help unlock your potential for success.

Innovate UK: Smart Grants programme

Innovate UK Smart Grants offer UK registered businesses an opportunity to apply for grants of up to £25 million for innovative and game-changing R&D projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy. Ideas must be genuinely new and novel, not just disruptive within the sector. Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as, but not exclusively, net zero, the arts, design, and media.

Opening date: 19 January 2023 9:00am

Closing date: 16 April 2023 11:00am

How to apply:

  1. Click start new application

  2. Create an account (if you already have an account, sign in)

  3. Fill in the application form and submit

Apply Now

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme

SEIS aims to help early-stage startups secure their first source of external funding and offer four types of venture capital schemes. This business grant fund encourages investors to put their money into new ventures by offering tax relief to those who buy shares. Qualifying companies can receive a maximum of £150k through the scheme. Eligibility is determined by how long your company has been trading for (under two years), how many employees you have (less than 25), your gross assets (under £200k), and a few other criteria. However, it's important to note that companies that apply won’t be made aware whether they qualify for the SEIS until you’ve completed your funding round.

Before applying you’ll need to check:

  • that your company can use the scheme

  • what you can do with the money raised

  • if this is a new qualifying trade

  • you meet the risk to capital condition

How to apply:

  1. Read how the scheme works

  2. Fill in application form and submit

Apply Now

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme

The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme has helped over 90,000 people to kickstart their own businesses – and you could be next.

The Prince’s Trust works with the Start Up Loans Company specifically to offer low-interest personal loans for business purposes between £500 to £25k at a rate of 6.2% APR. The Start Up Loan is a personal loan you borrow over 1-5 years at a fixed rate for business purposes. To qualify for this loan applicants must be 18 years or older at the time of application. Individuals can receive one loan per business, however, more than one partner in a business can apply for a Start Up Loan. Please note that a credit check will be carried out as part of your application.

How to apply:

  1. Get in touch here

  2. Fill in the application form and submit

Apply Now

South East Angels

South East Angels are on a mission to build the most valuable community for angel investors and founders in the South East of England (including London). The company is backed by local entrepreneurs and investors with the objective to increase investment activity in the local area. This is an opportunity for startups to be connected directly to investors who are actively seeking investment opportunities.

How to apply:

  1. Read their investment process

  2. Click fill in application form and submit

Apply Now

R&D tax credits

These cash payments are from the government and they are to support small or medium sized enterprises (less than 500 staff) to carry out research and development projects. Research & development (R&D) projects must relate to science or technology, however, HMRC’s definition is broad and includes investment into technology, IT systems, data, and cloud computing. If you’re building a startup or developing processes and products to meet demand in an evolving market, it’s likely that you’ll qualify forR&D tax credits. To claim the relief you need to show how your project meets the government's definition of R&D and companies can qualify for Advance Assurance if they are making their very first R&D claim. You can make a claim for R&D relief up to 2 years after the end of the accounting period it relates to.

How to claim:

The claim must be made in the company tax return or amendment to the return

You must send:

  • a full Company Tax Return form (CT600)

  • completed tax computation

  • form CT600L, if you are claiming a payable tax credit or Research and Development Expenditure Credit

  • use the online service to send HMRC details to support your R&D tax relief claim.

  • to use the online service, you need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you first use the service.

Apply Now

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)

There are 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships across England. They play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and job creation. These are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses that provide business funding, support, and guidance. The LEPs site is a guide to appropriate financial support that you can apply for today. When you choose your location it will direct you to people who are willing to help.

How to apply:

  1. Find your local LEP Growth Hub here

  2. Click on your location

  3. Fill in the necessary application forms on the website and submit

Apply Now

We hope you found this blog useful for you and your team and it reinforced that there are opportunities out there to fund your idea. Our team of experts are on hand to offer help or advice with your grant application, or if you’d like to know how to improve your investability we can offer you our Stakeholder Engagement Pack which features the necessary tools to validate your product design and reduce technical risks to streamline your development process.

Do you have an idea for a wearable product? When you’re ready to progress your vision, we can assist you across all areas that cover research, innovation, and concept generation. We also can support you in prototyping physical and digital systems, designing Machine Learning and AI approaches, and production management.

Get in touch with us here if your goal is to help change the world for the better through evolving incredible ideas into successful products in the health and wellness space.

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