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Innovation Hothouse Competition 2024 Announcement

01 May 2024

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Following the very successful inaugural event last year, The University of East Anglia Science Faculty and the Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR), in partnership with Anglia Innovation Partnership (AIP) (the science park management company of Norwich Research Park), are excited to announce the 2024 ‘Innovation Hothouse Competition’, which will showcase the best of innovation in science and technology across the Norwich Research Park.

  • Do you have research that has the potential to break new ground, create an impact and set up a product or service? Or are you thinking of setting up a company?
  • Are you an early-stage startup already wanting to gain prominence and investment and need a mentor?
  • Do you want to have access to angel investors, VCs, legal advisors, multi-national companies, and those who have connections to these groups of people?

If the answer is YES to any of these, then please apply to the 2024 ‘Innovation Hothouse’ Competition!

The competition will take place on the 26th of November as part of AIP’s series of Norwich Research Park’s showcase events, ‘Enterprise Tuesday’, held at the John Innes Conference Centre. This event brings together a diverse community of academics, investors and companies.

An agreed number of selected finalists will have the opportunity to deliver a quick-fire 5-minute pitch to showcase their innovative research ideas and their products or services to fellow researchers, investors, grant funders and multinational companies from the region. After each presentation, there will be questions from the judging panel and the audience.

The winner and two runner ups (to be decided by a panel of esteemed judges) will receive cash prizes of £500, £250 and £150 respectively, awarded by the Royal Society EiR and the UEA Science Faculty. All finalists will also receive £100 cash each, kindly donated by Richard Flavell. There is also a range of other non-cash prizes and benefits (see below).

The winners will be decided by a panel of esteemed judges including Simon Blakey, Prof Sheng Qi, Roz Bird, Christina O’Brien, Dr Jerry Wu, Emmi Nicholl and Dr Jason Mellad

Entries can be either individuals or teams, but only a maximum number of two people from each entry can pitch on the day!

All finalists will also receive the following benefits:

  • Mentoring by Dr Soraya Jones, the Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence about their pitch before the Innovation Hothouse Day
  • An investment ready workshop delivered by experts from the Mills and Reeve team and an opportunity to have a 15-minute individual session with a legal expert
  • All finalists will be able to have a presence for Cambridge Tech Week 2025
  • The winners will also be able to have a one hour chat with Dr Jason Mellad, the Founder of Start Codon
  • All finalists will be nominated/listed on #21towatch and the three winners will automatically be shortlisted for #21towatch
  • A signed copy of the Invested Investor book from Peter Cowley, a serial entrepreneur and investor
  • Introduction to appropriate people and companies, where possible
  • A chance to network with a wide group of companies and investors
  • The winners will receive a one-year virtual tenancy from Norwich Research Park subject to the establishment of a company and standard HMRC checks.

Existing virtual tenants will receive a marketing support package instead, including advice, promotional opportunities and more.

Eligibility (This is a UEA run competition that is open to Norwich Research Park-wide applicants including those within Park-based businesses. However, applications must include at least one UEA collaborator, and applications from UEA Science Faculty are strongly encouraged):

  • Undergraduate and PGR students
  • Research or Technical Staff
  • Early career researchers
  • Academic spin-out / early-stage start-ups

Please note that previous winners and finalists from 2023 cannot reapply. However, if you applied last year but were not selected as a finalist you may reapply.

For any queries, please email: (Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence)

Sponsored and Supported by:

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