What are the new Seed Funding opportunities?

Despite large numbers of applications, we had to suspend the April Pre-Seed program due to Coronavirus. Ever since, we have been trying to decide how to keep building businesses during the lockdown.

We’re now excited to ANNOUNCE 3x Seed Funding opportunities. They are a hybrid Pathfinder-Founder approach where you can apply to be a co-founder directly with us. We’ve chosen three business models we’ve been desperate to get started for a long time, yet are perfect to start building while the world is in lockdown. 

The successful applicants will partner directly with ImpactBase to build the businesses. ImpactBase will provide all the investment and the same support [remotely] that would have been offered in the Pre-Seed Program, but without the £20k investment cap.

We have deliberately made the application process quick, so check out the three opportunities available and apply to any that match you. 

Information about the postponement of the April 2020 intake due to Coronavirus

First of all, a really big thank you to all those that took the time to apply for the April 2020 intake. We received a large number of applications from people with exciting businesses and backgrounds.

Unfortunately, we have taken the hard decision to postpone the April 2020 Pre-Seed Program due to the unfortunate effects of the Coronavirus. 

If it is safe, we aim to stage an intake later in 2020, however this is dependent on how the situation plays out. It is likely that the next intake will not be until April 2021. Keeping people safe is our key priority when we make this decision.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and the announcement of dates for the next intake. 

For those that have already applied, we will automatically consider your application for the next intake – you do not need to reapply.

What is the difference between Founder Entry and Pathfinder Entry?

Founder Entry is for applicants that have an existing business or concept they want to turbo-charge.

Apply for Pathfinder Entry if you have the desire and drive to start the next big thing, but don’t yet know what that is.

Pathfinder Entrants go through the same Pre-Seed Program as the Founder Entrants, but Pathfinders are given extra resources and support to identify their business. Pathfinder Entry is for people who want to solve some of the UK’s biggest problems but don’t know how. ImpactBase wants Pathfinder Entrants who are interested in challenges such as (but not limited to):

  • Tackling climate change and environmental degradation 
  • Solving the obesity epidemic
  • Turning the tide on mental health
  • Reversing community and high street decline
  • Reducing the environmental and health impacts of global meat consumption
  • Tackling social immobility and the gap between rich and poor on an industrial scale 

If this sounds like you, then we’ll help you start a business that has potential to change the world. Apply here

How much does ImpactBase invest?

We invest enough pre-seed capital to get you to a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), up to a maximum of £20,000. The actual amount will be determined based on your business model (some need less to get to an MVP than others) and business stage.

What does ImpactBase offer?

See details of the Pre-Seed Program here.

Who can apply and what are the criteria?

The only criteria we have is that you must be 18 years old, residing legally in the UK and you don’t have a disqualification from being a company director.

You should apply if this sounds like you: 

  • Resilient
  • Prepared to work hard
  • Smart
  • Determined
  • Humble, and                
  • Want to 10X your results

You can apply as a Founder Entrant or as a Pathfinder Entrant. Founders already have their own company or concept they want to turbo-charge. Pathfinders become founders on the Pre-Seed Program where they are given extra support and resources to develop a business first.  

If you are applying with your own business concept, then make sure you clearly articulate how your business can scale at least nationally. 

We consider applications for businesses in any industry and while we encourage tech companies to apply, we are not solely focused on tech.

    I don’t have my own business concept, am I at a disadvantage if I apply?

    No, you should apply as a Pathfinder. We want a mix of Founder Entrants and Pathfinder Entrants – applying without a concept is not a disadvantage.

    We want people to apply whether they have a business idea or not. There are loads of viable business concepts that will plug gaps in the market and we will help you find and launch a business to do just that – finding ideas is not the hard part, getting the right people is. We believe passionately that we can help these type of people grow hugely successful businesses:

    • Resilient
    • Prepared to work hard
    • Smart
    • Determined
    • Humble, and                
    • Want to 10X your results

    If this sounds like you, then apply

    I have a business idea but am also open to other ideas. Which application form should I use?

    If you have an existing business you should apply using the Founder Entry Application Form.

    If you haven’t started your business yet and it is still an idea that you are not sure about, we suggest you apply using the Pathfinder Entry Application Form, then you can enter your idea in the form where it asks you for your ideas.

    What equity stake do you take?

    In exchange for investment, support, the Pre-Seed Program and ongoing mentoring, we take a 17% stake in Founder Entry businesses joining the Pre-Seed Program with their own ideas, concepts and businesses. The stake is 25% if you apply on Pathfinder Entry because we help you develop the concept.

    Will I be paid?

    Pre-seed business incubation is about creating a MVP and proving product-market fit so that investors can provide seed investment. Founders do not usually take a salary at pre-seed. A pre-seed example was when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were bootstrapping the first Apple computer in their garage on weekends and at night. 

    How will I make money?

    By building the value of the business to the point that it can be sold or is generating profits to give shareholders (that’s you) a dividend. Usually by your Series A investment round, investors will be okay with you taking a salary from their investment, and sometimes at the seed stage. It all depends on your business.    

    Read more about making money

    Do I need a co-founder(s)?

    While it is not a requirement, we strongly encourage it. This is because being an entrepreneur is hard, and it makes it more likely you will succeed if you have someone to share the hard work, triumphs, motivation and inevitable anxiety with. It also means the business can move faster at the early stages because you have more people working on it.

    Having said that, it is not a requirement to apply with a co-founder. 

    Can I apply with co-founders if I/we do not have our own idea?

    Yes. The Pathfinder Entry Application Form asks if you are applying with a team – put your co-founder’s details in there.

    Do I need to work on the business full time?

    Generally investors will want to see at least one co-founder working full time in the business when you receive seed funding.

    However at pre-seed stage, while working full time on the business is preferable, the risks are higher for you personally and we understand this. At a minimum, founders accepted onto our Pre-Seed Program are expected to contribute most of their spare time to the business if they are not working full time on the business. 

    What are the contact hours?

    The Pre-Seed Program has two weeks of full time commitment for the first two weeks of the program. During this time you will be expected to attend the incubator in London on weekdays. Dates for the next intake will be announced in due course.

    The Pre-Seed Program runs for three months, so during the initial two weeks, you will agree regular times to attend sessions over the remainder of the program. 

    How will I get seed money and further investment?

    You need to maximise the use of the Pre-Seed Program to get the best MVP and product-market testing completed as possible. If you achieve that, then we will introduce you to investors so you can pitch to them for your seed round of investment.

    When are your intakes?

    Our first intake for 2020 was scheduled for April 2020 and the second intake for August 2020. However the April intake has been postponed due to the Coronavirus. A decision on whether the August intake will go ahead in 2020 will be announced in due course and is dependent on the situation with Coronavirus passing.

    What are the application deadlines?

    Applications remain open for the next intake. Deadlines will be announced once the new intake dates are known.

    Will you give feedback on my application?

    Formal feedback is only given to applicants who reach the fourth stage of the application process. However we will post on this page, general advice and anonymised observations from all applications.

    If I am not accepted, can I reapply in a later intake?

    Yes, we encourage this.

    What type of businesses do you invest in?

    Any industry or sector provided there is a compelling need for the business and it has the ability to at least scale nationally. Founder Entrants should be clear on their application form why they think their business can scale nationally or globally. 

    We believe almost every industry requires disruption, so we are also very interested in both tech and non-tech businesses.

    What is the confidence component of the Pre-Seed Program?

    This is part of the Pre-Seed Program and is a series of workshops to increase your confidence and resilience to tackle challenges. People that have completed this course have valued it highly and found it a lot of fun.

    When will I know if I have been accepted and/or not accepted on this intake?

    You will be notified if you have progressed to the next stage of the application process by the dates listed on this page. If you have not heard from us by those dates then you will not have been accepted in this round. We do not notify unsuccessful applicants.

    How long has ImpactBase been operating?

    Our first intake was scheduled for April 2020.

    Can second time entrepreneurs apply?

    Yes we encourage this, provided you are:

    • Resilient
    • Prepared to work hard
    • Smart
    • Determined
    • Humble, and                
    • Want to 10X your results
    How large will each intake be?

    No more than six businesses will be accepted into each intake. We are focused on building great businesses and unlike other incubators, don’t believe we can do that with more than six businesses in incubation at a time. This allows us to give you more time, guidance and ultimately increases the chances you will succeed.

    What commitment is needed for the Pre-Seed Program?

    The Pre-Seed Program has two weeks of full time commitment from the 6th to 17th of April 2020. During this time you will be expected to attend the incubator in London on weekdays excluding the Easter public holidays. 

    The Pre-Seed Program runs for three months so during the initial two weeks, you will agree regular times to attend sessions over the remainder of the program.

    The dates have not yet been set for the August intake but the time commitment expected will be similar.

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