Design Council Spark is a leading UK product innovation support programme and investment fund designed to help individuals turn their bright idea into a commercially successful product. Since its creation in 2014, the programme has helped more than 120 innovators and entrepreneurs to develop their product ideas, 45 of these have been intensively supported with mentoring, funding and specialist input to help them progress to market.
This year, there is a focus on product inventions for innovation in the home, particularly to support individuals suffering from dementia. The programme is looking to consider brilliant home improvement products that have the potential to transform the experience of getting around, remembering things or doing day-to-day tasks such as getting up, getting dressed and washing and bathing.
Investment panel members are identified and nominated for the depth of knowledge and experience they bring to assessing ventures based on their expertise across the fields of manufacturing, IP, investment, business and design.
Up to 10 finalists are selected onto the programme comprising five core workshops led by a team of design experts, as well as one-to-one input from specialists in a variety of fields. The programme runs over a 16-week time frame during which finalists also gain access to Design Council Spark’s network and our extensive community of past ventures.
Once accepted onto the programme all finalists receive an initial sum of £15,000 to help develop their product, as well as the opportunity to pitch in front of an investment panel for a share of up to £150,000 further funding to fast-track their product to market.
Sarah Weir OBE, Chief Executive of Design Council states that “Great innovation is the beating heart of the UK economy, designing our future through world-leading products, that not only change lives, but break new ground, build businesses, jobs and grow the UK economy”.
To find out more, visit www.designcouncil.org.uk.