Kickstart Innovation Fund

Kickstart Innovation Fund helps SMEs to get going with their innovation idea by providing finance to access third-party expertise needed to progress their idea to the next stage.

 What is the Kickstart Innovation Fund?

The Kickstart Innovation Fund is part of the Connecting Innovation programme from the LEP and is primarily for businesses in the Leeds City Region looking to take the first step on their innovation journey. As part of Connecting Innovation, the Kickstart Innovation Fund helps SMEs who are looking to collaborate for the first time to move their project forward.

It is a match-funded grant for projects up to £24,999 which must be used for the progression of an innovation led project with a third-party organisation.

How does it work?

  • Arrange a conversation with one of the LEP’s Innovation Growth Managers to discuss your needs and work out if this is the right fund for you and your project
  • Eligibility checks to make sure you comply with the ERDF criteria
  • Complete a comprehensive application form with full support from your dedicated Innovation Growth Manager
  • Based on your application being successful, the grant is awarded and your project can get underway

We suggest that from the application submission to the grant being awarded can take in the region of three months.

Who can apply?

To be considered for the Kickstart Innovation Fund, you must:

  • Be based or have a trading address within one of these areas: Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York
  • Be an SME: with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of under £45.3million
  • Be trading with other businesses (B2B) rather than directly with consumers (B2C)
  • Meet certain financial criteria, ensuring that you have sufficient match funding for your Kickstart grant
  • Be looking to collaborate for the first time

This grant is ideal for smaller businesses to enable them to take an incremental step on their innovation journey by bringing in knowledge and expertise that don’t already exist in their business. It could be a collaborative project to:

  • Create a minimum viable product, a prototype to demo to your market or a proof of concept
  • Bring in expertise for production, research or to appraise the commercial market opportunity

How can I find out more?

Get in touch with our Business Support team via email or call our business support helpline on 0113 348 1818 and we can begin the conversation.