MSDUK 2020 Virtual Innovation Summit, 1st September

MSDUK is delighted to launch the 2020 Virtual Innovation Summit that brings together over 1000+ diverse founders, VCs, angel investors, industry partners, universities, and the corporate world to collaborate and unlock innovation through diversity.

The virtual event, held on 1st September 2020, will feature engaging talks from the brightest minds in the innovation space, live pitching opportunities, and even a mini-hackathon (Challenge90) where you will meet and collaborate with other innovators to solve a common problem.

MSDUK’s goal is to break down barriers of entry and create an inclusive ecosystem of corporate, industry and investment partners that leads to opportunities for diverse founders to grow and succeed.

Full details of the event here:

A reminder that IBM offer startups cloud computing credits

Details of how to apply for IBM Cloud credits can be found here: / Full details on how IBM can support developers & Startups :

EU’s EIC Accelerator Funding Opportunities. UK SMEs are allowed to apply until the end of this year.

EU’s EIC Accelerator Funding is a mixture of grants and equity for very early stage companies. UK SMEs are allowed to apply until the end of this year.

China-Britain British Council UK-China Tech Accelerator is now recruiting

The UK-China Tech Accelerator is a tailored programme for UK-based tech start-ups and scale-ups to explore the China opportunity and connect digitally with Chinese clients, partners and investors. The programme will also prepare participants for doing business in China, through a series of market briefings and sector insights

Loughborough University graduate startup programme, the Studio, is currently recruiting

The Studio is currently accepting applications from finalists who want to launch their own businesses when they graduate – and graduates no more than five years out.

The Studio is the graduate programme of LU Inc, the University’s business incubator which brings together graduate and academic entrepreneurs with founders from across the region and beyond to create a rich and supportive start-up community.

The application deadline is midnight on 2 August 2020.

DMU announces the DMUworks Enterprise Network

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has increased its support for entrepreneurial students and graduates over the last 12 months.

This week, DMU has announced the DMUworks Enterprise Network – a new network of founders who will work with the University to inspire and motivate students, developing their entrepreneurial skills, starting brand new businesses and growing existing ones.

A new founder is being announced each day via DMU socials. So far they’ve announced Jason Nestbitt (Founder of LoyalFree), Louise Holland (Founder of Holland Alexander) and Jessica Okoro (founder of Be Science).  This is the beginning of a new Network and a commitment from DMUworks to connect with the local business community for mutual benefit to both the city and future talent coming out of DMU.

Mentor Fridays – would you like free help, advice, or support for your idea?

Leicester Startups have been quietly signing up expert founders to help new founders and those with ideas. We’ve now got a range of impressive people who want to help you build your startup or grow your idea. In fact… we might even have too many!

So to stop these founders, business experts, and all-round great people twiddling their thumbs – we need you.

If you’re looking to start or grow a startup, then let us know what support you’d like, and we’ll connect you with an expert from the local community for some free, informal chats on Fridays at a time that suits you.

Fill in the Google form here to let us know how we can help you build Leicester’s next great startup idea.

NatWest and DMU Innovation Centre Pre Accelerator Programme

The DMU Innovation Centre is delighted to be hosting the first NatWest Pre Accelerator programme in Leicester.

The programme is designed to give entrepreneurs the power to start, scale and succeed. It is a fully-funded, quick-fire, intensive eight-week course for early-stage entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs are busy people. That’s why the Pre Accelerator has been designed as a primarily on-line course which can be taken in and around your busy lives.

The online aspect of the programme will guide you through initial customer discovery, the viability of your idea and the mindset and behaviours needed to be a successful entrepreneur.

This will be supported with events that will bring you together with your fellow participants to share, inspire and feedback culminating with a pizza and pitch event at the Innovation Centre.

The Pre Accelerator kicks off with an Ignition event at the Innovation Centre on the 23rd January where you will be guided through the sign up process and introduced to the first module.

Find more info and sign up here:

Announcing Leicester Startup Week 2019

Our second annual Leicester Startup Week starts on Monday 18th November at venues across the city. There’s a packed calendar of events to help startups at all stages of their journeys, culminating in our annual startup weekend. Here are highlights of the events and activities:-

  • How to test your idea
  • How to scale your business
  • Free mentoring
  • Tech Nation insights into Leicester’s startup scene
  • Female Founders Club launch
  • Sports startup networking
  • Snap Travel CEO talk
  • Investor masterclass
  • Founders social
  • Leicester Startup Weekend

For full details of all the events and to book tickets, click here.

Free Startup Mentoring, Weds 20th Nov at DMU

Tech Nation Entrepreneur Engagement Manager Naomi Watts and startup founder Ben Ravilious are bookable all day for free casual mentoring or other startup-related chat. Get advice, share an idea, ask questions, get introductions.

Venue: The Innovation Centre, De Montfort University, 49 Oxford Street, Leicester, LE1 5XY




Naomi Watts is the Midlands Entrepreneur Engagement Manager for Tech Nation and has a wealth of experience helping startups in the tech sector. She has incubated over 200 tech startups with help from market validation to pitch training and has a wide network within the Midlands to signpost founders to the most appropriate support.


ben raviliousBen Ravilious is a co-founder of audience polling startup ParticiPoll as well as a co-director of web and app development agency Ultimateweb which specialises in working with startups. Ben can help with web and app development, startup idea validation, how to position your startup, content marketing, software-as-a-service (Saas) products, pricing, community building.


Slots are 30 mins long and will follow David Cohen’s Mentor Manifesto principles. We won’t try to boss you, sell you anything or steal your idea and you might end up mentoring us!

Email if you have any questions.

(hat tip to Brad Feld for the Random Days idea)


You can also join us at 11am on the day to discuss how Leicester’s entrepreneurial potential can be fully realised, with insights on Leicester’s startup vital statistics from Tech Nation UK. Lean more bout how Tech Nation UK can support your business and your city: