No, you don’t need your own business idea to join the programme. The Foundation’s relationship with its corporate partners enables us to source projects with significant commercial potential. We welcome members of the programme who want to bring their own business ideas but they must prove that these projects are demand driven.
During the coding bootcamp graduates tend to form their own teams naturally based on who they work best with, we try to satisfy our graduates preferences as best we can. Ultimately our experience has shown us that a team needs to be diverse and well balanced. The Foundation takes final responsibility for team selection. Although the vast majority of our graduates apply as individuals we welcome and do not break up team applications.
The Foundation does not have its own residential premises. It does though have a relationship with a Newport landlord that provides student accommodation for the local university and can introduce members of the programme.
Applicants to the programme all need to submit their CV and details via the website’s Apply page. On the basis of the information provided we will take a decision whether or not to invite a candidate for an interview. Before submitting their formal applications prospective programme members are encouraged to call us for an informal chat or to visit the Foundation. Typically it takes 1 month from the date of the submission of an application to being informed of the result, but it often faster.
The investment fund is separate from the Foundation’s charitable activities. On graduation teams have the opportunity to pitch their business plan to the fund. Almost all teams have accepted this option and in exchange for an equity investment of £250,000 the team is gifted 25% of the equity in the company. The seed fund is an optional investment and we encourage our teams to shop around.
These vary according to the role each individual performs within a team. Because teams develop software based solutions, the team structure is configured around 4 personas, see the 4 H’s of a startup team.
In addition to technical skills, the Foundation recruits individuals with the equally important human qualities required in a successful entrepreneur such as self-confidence, communication skills, empathy, recognition of the shared strength of teamwork and the capacity for resilience in the face of adversity.
To support your introduction to the entrepreneurial journey all applicants undertake at least 3 weeks of the 5 week bootcamp. This ensures that there is a minimum level of coding. All founders then undertake a 5 week business bootcamp which ensures that they have the requisite fundamental knowledge required of an entrepreneur.
Failure is a real part of entrepreneurship. Our programme is designed to de-risk your startup as far as possible, but there are no guarantees of success.
A very small number of individuals and teams have failed to graduate the programme. Creating a start up company provides an opportunity to fast track your career. Graduates will have to take on a large range of responsibilities that will cover the entirety of running a business. Being in a startup company requires our graduates to become designers, marketers, sales people, developers, product managers, human resource managers etc.
(… plus you’ll be ace at table tennis at the end of 15 months!!)
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