Available Support


  • Seed Funding: Potential pioneers will benefit from seed funds (grants) of between £10,000 to £200,000.
  • Technical assistance (TA): In partnership with the Stanbic Business Incubator, the UCIF will provide a holistic package of TA to the pioneers, stretching from shortlisting to the stage of where the product or service has found its "sweet spot" in the market and is well-positioned for future growth and success.  TA will be delivered through boot camps, training workshops, one-on-one coaching, and mentorship, as well as peer-to-peer learning and networking. Pioneers which are successful in their bid for support will be offered support for at least 12 months. Pioneers may be supported as needed to identify short-term technical experts (for example agronomists, engineers, software developers, marketing specialists, financial analysts) during their innovation processes. 
  • Pitch preparation boot camps: Potential pioneers will benefit from pitch training, development, and rehearsal to enable them to effectively communicate their ideas.
  • Match making: The UCIF team will guide pioneers in showcasing their innovations at various events, including matchmaking sessions / investor round tables, forums, and trade shows, as well as facilitating one-on-one connections with potential investors. This will include national, regional, and international networks.
  • Linkage to growth capital: Pioneers will be profiled and linked to the most appropriate sources of funding to grow and scale their businesses, including grants, equity, and debts.
  • Linkage to innovation hubs: Where appropriate, pioneers will be linked with local innovation hubs that could offer them a space to design, build and test their prototypes. 


Who is eligible to apply?