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The Ingenuity Programme is designed to create impact through enterprise in communities across the UK.

We are looking for the most viable and innovative business ideas that will transform how and where we live. Ingenuity is looking to support:

Future Founders – investment-ready start-ups that produce sustainable impact across the UK.

Regional Pioneers – new thinking within existing organisations, developing better businesses and more socially responsible activity.


Regional and national events will offer you the chance to work in partnership with diverse groups of like-minded individuals. Ingenuity will take place in the East Midlands, West Midlands, the West of England and across the South Coast. At these you will:

  • Work with experts from business, universities, charities and the wider community to understand the issues and develop solutions
  • Transform your solution into a sustainable start-up idea, or a proposition to transform the practice or impact of your organisation
  • Build a business plan or proposition and submit it for expert assessment and feedback
  • Pitch to a panel of industry leaders at regional finals
  • Represent your region and get investment at the national Ingenuity Week
As a leader, the programme has made me really dig into the reasons why we do what we do and be very clear on what we want to achieve in the future.
Zakia Moulaoui, Invisible Cities


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Take part in a regional Challenge Summit, work with like-minded people and get expert feedback on your ideas. Our online workshops will explore the Ingenuity Challenges from a regional perspective.

Understand the Challenges

Presentations by regional experts will offer context and help participants understand the priorities.

Develop your ideas

You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other Future Business Founders and Regional Pioneers, as well as mentors to explore your ideas.


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Access Tutorials on our Develop Platform – an online learning platform with inspiration from leading social innovators and support from industry and academic experts to evolve your business idea. The tutorials will help you build a robust and tested business plan or proposition.

Gain insights

Exclusive interviews with leaders from charities, NGOs, impact entrepreneurs, investors and corporate social responsibility specialists.

Access tutorials

Videos featuring industry professionals and academics. Topics covered will include design thinking, business planning, market analysis, sales strategy, financial planning, Intellectual Property rights, legal structures and much more.


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Formalise your ideas and experiences into your submission to the competitive stages of Ingenuity for your share of over £400,000 of support.

Create and submit your business plan, or internal proposition

Use the Develop Platform resources, along with the knowledge and partnerships gained from the Summits.

Pitch your idea

Submissions will be assessed by industry experts and the most scaleable and impactful ideas from each region will be invited to attend Ingenuity Week.


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Work through your business model with mentors and investors, before pitching at the Ingenuity finals.

Collaborate with investors

During a three-day intensive accelerator programme, UK finalists will work with prospective investors and senior industry figures to fine tune their propositions.

Become a Challenge Champion

The culmination of the programme is the Ingenuity Impact Evening, where over £400,000 of support will be awarded to regional and national finalists.
Key dates

14 September 2020

Applications open! Sign up via the website, and work through Insights on the Develop Platform to create and submit your application.

20 November 2020

Application deadline. If you want to take part in the Ingenuity Programme as a Future Founder or Regional Pioneer, make sure you’ve signed up and completed the first stage of the Develop Platform by this date.

4 December 2020

Application deadline. If you want to take part in the Ingenuity Programme as a Mentor.

November/December 2020

Regional Challenge Summits. These online events are a chance for you to gain deeper insights into the key issues facing your area  to help you find a business solution.

Mentoring Sessions. These online events are a chance for you to work with expert mentors to test, validate and evolve your business solution.

19 February 2021

Business Plan submission deadline. All plans will be assessed by industry experts, and shortlisted teams will be taken through to the final 16 in your region.

29 – 31 March 2021

Ingenuity Week – £400,000 of investment available!



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© Ingenuity 2020. All rights reserved. Website developed by Seismik.
University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road, Nottingham NG7 2TU. Tel: +44 (0)115 846 6193 Email: ingenuity@nottingham.ac.uk