The Global Incubator Programme

The Global Incubator Programme

Are you ready to scale your business globally?

You need to explore the potential of overseas markets before you can grow. Innovate UK’s Global Incubator Programme delivered in partnership with the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is an acceleration programme for innovative SMEs to spend time in world-leading incubators abroad.

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Fulfil your international growth journey

Innovate UK's global growth accelerator

Our structured programme uses an intensive four-stage method to tackle the challenges that most companies face when entering global markets.

Companies can explore the potential of overseas markets, and access world-class mentors and tailored workspaces. 

The programme operates in four countries: the USA, Canada, Singapore and India.

Who is the Global Incubator Programme for?

In order to be eligible for the Global Incubator Programme, you must:

Who is this programme suitable for?

The Global Incubator Programme is aimed at innovative companies with strong potential to scale internationally. The programme offers support for one representative from each company, and the same delegate is expected to take part in all related activities (substitutes accepted by exception). The proposed delegate should be someone who can speak on behalf of their company and who has a good technical knowledge of the company’s technologies. 

The delegate must be based in the UK, be available to attend activities (virtually) on all key programme dates, and work with an assigned EEN adviser for the full duration of the programme. 

Financial due diligence checks will be completed during the selection process. Innovate UK commits to promoting and improving equality, diversity and inclusion through the programmes it funds, manages and delivers.

We are committed to ensuring that there are no barriers to enabling diverse participation in the programme.

What to expect

•    Gain introductions to customers and partners to grow and scale your company
•    Enable feedback from your target markets
•    Receive internationalisation mentoring from trusted experts
•    Build confidence through coaching and events
•    Participate in a vibrant community
•    Establish a presence with desk space and back office services in New York (or virtually).

The four stages of the programme

1. Prepare

The programme starts with a two-day preparation workshop delivered to the entire group in the UK. You will be allocated an adviser who will work with you to develop your strategic development plan for the programme. You will receive an overview of the innovation and sector landscape of the country's market, and training to maximise the incubation experience.

2. Participate

You will go on a market visit as a group, providing the opportunity to consider technology and market fit, preliminary customer validation and an introduction to ecosystem players.

3. Pursue

You will work with your adviser to refine your strategic development plan and spend 3-6 months in the incubator within the market country and experience a tailored programme of activities.

4. Exploit

You work with your adviser to exploit the programme and consider the potential funding, connections, skills and expertise required to enable opportunities that will impact your company and enable it to grow.

Selection for the programme

The Global Business Innovation Programme operates on a competitive basis and selected businesses are required to actively participate in all four stages.

Companies will be selected against the following criteria:

  • Mindset: The company must be committed to the programme and demonstrate a willingness to proactively engage.
  • Programme fit: Must be a highly innovative, ambitious and high growth-oriented company with a verified business plan and a commitment to implement it.
  • Product market fit: The product has the potential to fit with the ecosystem and market of the partner country.
  • Level of innovation: Given the competitive markets of the Global Incubation Programme, the company should offer a strong product or service which is innovative.
  • Growth potential: The company should have the potential to achieve high growth: over 20% annual growth.
  • Resources and capacity: The company needs sufficient capacity and resources to commit to the programme, and ability to capitalise on the opportunities which arise.

The application process consists of a short application form and companies shortlisted will be invited for an interview before finally having financial eligibility checks. 

What we expect from participating companies

Innovate UK expects participants in the programme to:

Be committed: be involved in all parts of the programme and play an active role. 
Maximise your chances: work closely with the advisers. 
Demonstrate sufficient investment: ensure that you have the resources to participate effectively.
Develop and implement an impact-focused strategic development plan by working closely with your adviser. 
Engage an appropriate representative in the programme – discuss this with your adviser. 
Support and challenge each other: benefit from interaction with other cohort members.

What is the cost?

Innovate UK and the Enterprise Europe Network will cover the training and incubation costs offered by this programme (conditions apply).

Companies must cover staff time and any travel and accommodation if a physical programme is possible.