Do I need to have a business idea?
No, you don’t need your own business idea to join the programme. The Foundation’s relationship with its corporate partners enables us to source projects with significant commercial potential. We welcome members of the programme who want to bring their own business ideas but they must prove that these projects are demand-driven.
Do I get to choose my own team?
During the coding boot camp, graduates tend to form their own teams naturally based on who they work best with, we try to satisfy our graduates’ preferences as best we can. Ultimately our experience has shown us that a team needs to be diverse and well balanced. The Foundation takes final responsibility for team selection. Although the vast majority of our graduates apply as individuals we welcome and do not break up team applications.
Do you provide accommodation?
The Foundation does not have its own residential premises. It does though have a relationship with a Newport landlord that provides student accommodation for the local university and can introduce members of the programme.
How much equity will I receive in my company?
The investment fund is separate from the Foundation’s charitable activities. On graduation teams have the opportunity to pitch their business plan to the fund. Almost all teams have accepted this option and in exchange for an equity investment of £250,000 the team is gifted 25% of the equity in the company. The seed fund is an optional investment and we encourage our teams to shop around.
What qualities/skills are you looking for in an applicant?
These vary according to the role each individual performs within a team. Because teams develop software-based solutions, the team structure is configured around 4 personas, see the 4 H’s of a startup team.
In addition to technical skills, the Foundation will recruit individuals with the equally important human qualities required in a successful entrepreneur such as self-confidence, communication skills, empathy, recognition of the shared strength of teamwork and the capacity for resilience in the face of adversity.
To support your introduction to the entrepreneurial journey all applicants undertake at least 3 weeks of the 5-week boot camp. This ensures that there is a minimum level of coding. All founders then undertake a 5-week business boot camp which ensures that they have the requisite fundamental knowledge required of an entrepreneur.
What programming languages do I need to learn?
What if my team fails?
Failure is a real part of entrepreneurship. Our programme is designed to de-risk your startup as far as possible, but there are no guarantees of success.
A very small number of individuals and teams have failed to graduate the programme. Creating a startup company provides an opportunity to fast track your career. Graduates will have to take on a large range of responsibilities that will cover the entirety of running a business. Being in a startup company requires our graduates to become designers, marketers, salespeople, developers, product managers, human resource managers etc.
(… plus you’ll be ace at table tennis at the end of 15 months!!)
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