The first sift selects six potential solutions per Challenge to go forward to a second sift, during which each of the six teams will be interviewed. To do this we use the application form to assess -
- Overview of idea
- Level of innovation
- Commercial potential
- Commitment to schedule
The second sift takes these six applicants down to those that will be invited onto the Exploration Stage. We will be looking to select three per Challenge - though in exceptional circumstances this might vary. The second sift will be scored based on a half-hour interview, which will expand on and clarify the original application. The interview will last half an hour, can be arranged to suit the applicant, and can either be remote for - example, via video conferencing - or in-the-room at CivTech® in Codebase. If you wish to interview using a remote system, please ensure that you have good connectivity, and that your team is, if at all possible, in one place. In addition to further examining the four criteria above, the interview will also be used to understand -
- The team's strengths, attitudes and ethos
- Management structure, plans and ambitions
- Financial solidity - whatever stage the team or individual is at
- The team's gender and diversity attitudes
The CivTech® application scoresheet clearly sets out the criteria being used to assess all potential solutions and the businesses behind them: you can find out more on how we assess each application here.
The - usually - three potential solution providers per Challenge that are selected take part in the Exploration Stage. This is a contract with the Challenge Sponsor, for which each participating team is paid £3,000 (plus VAT if applicable) over a three week period. You can find the exploration stage agreement here.
During this stage teams work closely with the Challenge Sponsor and the CivTech® team to develop their potential solution further, and address any issues that have been brought up. There will be workshops during this stage for which attendance is mandatory. At the end of the Exploration Stage teams will submit a revised application, and take part in a pitch/interview session - both of which will be used to select the one proposed solution per Challenge that will go through to the Accelerator. Again, formal scoring will use the CivTech® Scoresheet.
The main criteria for this are -
- Assessment of the revised applications
- The pitch/interview session (up to 30 minutes)
- Other relevant items brought forward for consideration - for example, a working demo of the concept/prototype (if at that stage)
The combination of the Challenge Sponsor's sector knowledge along with the CivTech® team's tech and business development expertise provides the basis for informed decision-making.
At this stage, we have one solution provider per Challenge joining the Accelerator programme. This is a contract with the Challenge Sponsor, for which each participating team is paid £17,000 (plus VAT if applicable) over an (approximately) three month period. This will be paid in monthly tranches triggered by delivery targets which will be assessed at CheckGate Meetings. You can find the accelerator stage agreement here.
Pre-Commercial Development Stage
A Pre-commercialisation stage allows for further field testing and implementation prior to a full product launch and deployment. The value of the contract at this stage will vary from Challenge to Challenge.
It would be highly desirable for initial deals to have been agreed (at least at a Heads of Terms level) before the end of the Accelerator. This allows for a seamless continuation of development - vital to successful tech progression. And there is also another significant advantage to this approach. From an SME’s perspective, the hardest sell is the first one - get the first 'sale', and the product has potential. That attracts investors’ attention. This is important as this provides a stepping stone to greater economic growth.