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The University of Southampton
Careers, Employability and Student Enterprise

Foundership Grant Scheme

Foundership Scheme

The Student Enterprise Team are pleased to announce that the Foundership Scheme is back for Summer 2024! 

Are you ready to turn your business dreams into a reality? Look no further than the Foundership Scheme, exclusively for University of Southampton students and recent graduates!

What is the Foundership?

The Foundership is a 12-week programme of funding and support for aspiring founders. The aim of the programme is to nurture and support high potential student-led businesses within the University of Southampton, providing student founders with the resources, knowledge, guidance and environment to create successful and sustainable businesses. 
Participating students commit to working a minimum of 3-days a week on their business over a 12-week period (July-September) and receive funding to pay themselves. This amazing opportunity includes dedicated workspace in the Student Enterprise Junction co-working space, expert-led workshops and weekly 1:1 mentoring sessions, all backed by the generous support of the University of Southampton alumni community.

Who is the Foundership for? 

Entry to the programme is competitive. However, the programme is open to all types of business, social enterprise or freelancing service, across all sectors and at any stage of development.  

Here's what the Foundership 24 Cohort will get:  

Don't miss your chance to turn your business idea into a thriving success - apply NOW for the Foundership Cohort 24! 

We highly recommend reading all the website information below in full before applying. 

If you are thinking of applying for the Foundership 24, book a 1:1 with the Student Enterprise Team to discuss your application for the best chance of success.

For us, the accountability and expert advice was a huge benefit we were very grateful to receive. Not only that, but support from a diverse network of like-minded individuals and experts was a brilliant thing to have early on.

Key Programme Dates

  • Foundership Launch Date: Tuesday 2 July (compulsory on-site)
  • Foundership End Date: Friday 19 September
  • Cohort Days (compulsory on-site days): Tuesday 2 July, plus every Wednesday for 12 weeks from Wednesday 3 July to Wednesday 18 September
  • Founder Showcase: October 2024 

If you are interested in applying for the Foundership 24 Cohort, but the dates present a significant challenge to you, please contact the Student Enterprise Team to discuss individual restrictions and requirements.

Expectations of the Foundership 24 Cohort

  • Commitment to working on your business, located on-site at the Student Enterprise Junction, Sir James Matthews Building Southampton, a minimum average of 3-days per week each month, for the 12-week period between 1st July to 20th September* 
  • Attendance at the Foundership 24 Launch Day, Tuesday 2nd July 
  • Attendance at a minimum of ten weekly Cohort Days, every Wednesday between Wednesday 3 July to Wednesday 18 September 
  • Commitment to a minimum of nine 1-1 mentor sessions with a Student Enterprise Consultant over the 12-week period 
  • Demonstrated weekly progress towards your business goals, based on agreed weekly actions 
  • Participation in group sessions and activities with other members of the cohort  
  • Support and championing of other cohort members 
  • Participation in the Student Foundership Showcase Event in October 2024 
  • The courage to step out of your comfort zone, work hard, have fun and think big! 

*If you are interested in applying for the Foundership 24 Cohort, but the 3 days, on-site commitment presents a significant challenge to you, please contact the Student Enterprise Team at studententerprise@soton.ac.uk or book an Explore Student Enterprise Appointment to discuss individual restrictions and requirements. 

Cohort Days

Cohort Days are dedicated learning and collaboration days, where the entire cohort is required to be on-site at The Student Enterprise Junction.

Cohort Days take place every Wednesday over the 12-week period from Wednesday 3 July to Wednesday 18 September.

What to expect: 

  • Expert-led workshops across business strategy, planning, marketing, accounting, legal, mindset and much more.  
  • Group coaching and collaboration opportunities  
  • Team building, support and mentorship 
  • Networking with alumni founders, local businesses and subject matter experts  

Funding

Each of the Foundership 24 cohort will receive up to £3000 in grant funding over the 12-week period. This funding can used to pay yourself for the time you spend working on your business or to support your business development.  

Up to 3 payments, of up to £1000 each, will be made in arrears at the end of each 4-week funding period, based on the average weekly on-site attendance at The Junction co-working space for that funding period. A minimum average on-site attendance of 3 days per week is required to receive the full £1000 for that funding period. Where a founder’s on-site presence averages below 3 days per week over a 4-week funding period, payments will be pro-rated. 

In addition, the final 2 payments will be dependent on the outcome of two review points, at 6 weeks (mid-programme review) and 12-weeks (end of programme review), where there will be a mutual discussion around progress and commitment to the programme.  

4-Week Funding Periods: 

  1. Monday 1 July to Friday 26 July
  2. Monday 29 July to Friday 23 August
  3. Monday 26 August to Friday 20 September 

Approximate Payment Dates: 

  1. Monday 29 July
  2. Monday 26 August 
  3. Monday 23 September 

Application Process

There will be 2 opportunities to apply for a place on the Foundership 24 cohort, with early-bird places offered by the end of March 2024 and remaining places offered by the end of May 2024.  

Early-bird application is encouraged to secure your place on the programme and plan your summer. There are a limited number of places (up to a total of ten) available on the programme. Up to six of these places will be offered in the early-bird, Application Round 1. The remaining places will be offered in Application Round 2.

The first stage of the application process consists of an on-line application form and video pitch (not more than 2-minutes). Applications will then be short listed based on the quality of the application form and video pitch. Short-listed applicants will then be invited to an on-line panel interview. After the panel interview, one of the following three outcomes will be communicated to applicants: Offer, Wait-list Place, No Place. Where available, wait-list places will be offered after Round 2 outcomes have been communicated.

If you have any questions, concerns of accessibility requirements you would like to discuss, we highly encourage you to book an Explore Student Enterprise Appointment with one of the team or email us at studententerprise@soton.ac.uk 

Places are extremely competitive so make sure to get your application in early. 

Key dates for the two application rounds are detailed below:

Application Round 1 (Early Bird):  

  • Applications Open: Friday 26 January 2024 
  • Applications Close: Midnight Sunday 10 March 
  • Panel Interviews: Tuesday 19 & Thurs 21 March 
  • Round 1 Decisions Communicated: Friday 29 March 

Application Round 2:  

  • Applications Open: Monday 25 March 2024 
  • Applications Close: Midnight Sunday 5 May 2024 
  • Panel Interviews: Tuesday 14 May & Thursday 16 May 2024 
  • Round 2 Decisions Communicated By: Friday 17 May 
  • All initial offers must be accepted by: Wednesday 22 May 
  • Waitlist offers will be made by: Friday 24 May 
  • Waitlist offers must be accepted by: End of Monday 27 May 

If you are thinking of applying for the Foundership 24, we highly encourage you to book a Student Enterprise Consultant Appointment or an Explore Student Enterprise Appointment with one of the team.

Don't miss your chance to turn your business idea into a thriving success - apply now for the Foundership Cohort 24!

FAQ's

Do I need a business idea to apply? 

Yes, in order to apply and be consider for the Foundership it is recommended that you have a business idea that you have been working on and are willing to work on full time for the next few months. 

Can I apply with my team? 

Only one of your team needs to apply, however the funding is per business. Therefore the maximum you will receive as a business/team will be £3000.

When are the Cohort Days? 

Cohort Days take place every Wednesday over the 12-week period from Wednesday 3rd July to Wednesday 18th September. 

Can my team attend the Cohort Days?  

Yes, co-founding members of your team are able to attend the Cohort Days, with prior agreement from the Student Enterprise Team.

Do I have to attend Cohort Days in person?

Yes, you will be required to attend a minimum of ten out of 12 Cohort Days over the 12-week period, in addition to the Foundership Launch day on Tuesday 2nd July. 

Can I work on my business remotely? 

Yes, you can work on your business remotely. However, you must work at The Student Enterprise Junction co-working space a minimum average of 3-days per week, over each 4-week Funding Period in order to receive the full £1000 for that Funding Period.  

Can I still apply if I can only commit to working on my business 2 days per week?  
Yes, you can still apply to the programme. However, you must be available to attend the Cohort Days every Wednesday. In addition, if you are only able to work 2 days per week on-site (including the Cohort day), you will only receive two thirds of the funding amount. We would highly recommend you scheduling a discussion with the Student Enterprise Team to discuss your individual requirements prior to submitting your application. You can email the team at studententerprise@soton.ac.uk or book an Explore Student Enterprise Appointment. 

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