York CETLE is committed to helping students develop
enterprising ideas and can offer very practical assistance in the form of proof of concept funding to get the idea of the ground.
The aim of the Proof of Concept fund is to provide financial assistance to establish the feasibility of student business ideas. It will support the early stage development of projects that can show commercial potential. Of particular interest are projects intended to survive graduation. The fund can make awards between £250 – £1000.
Eligible costs could include:
• market assessment;
• promotional activities;
• materials and equipment (evidence of need must be demonstrated);
• prototype development (service or tangible);
• mentoring, professional or other development services;
• other costs, such as travel and subsistence (justification is required and applicants must demonstrate that these costs are directly linked to the commercial objectives of the project).
Application and Assessment
Applicants should consider the following when preparing an application (see, for example, VentureNavigator – a free online business idea assessment tool):
• Market assessment of the business opportunity (competitors, market trends, etc)
• Competitive Advantage
• Resource requirements – financial, personal commitment, timescales, etc
• Risk Assessment
It is acknowledged that early stage development of business ideas may not have a full defined plan for reaching the market, however, applicants must identify how they propose to address any significant gaps in their current commercialisation strategy.