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The University of Southampton
Careers and Employability Service

Foundership Grant Fund Scheme 2020

Do you have a business start up or social enterprise idea?

Want to spend the summer working on developing your venture but need funding to support yourself?

Then take the leap to develop your idea with the University of Southampton Foundership Grant Fund Scheme!

Building on the pilot Enternship model developed in summer 2019 where seven students participated, the Foundership Grant Fund Scheme is a more advanced version of the same scheme, this time in 2020 offering 15 students funding (either £2,500 or £1,000) and structured support to advance their new ventures for twelve weeks over the summer.

The Foundership opportunity is available to any UK/EU student in any subject, in any year group (UG, Masters and PhD), including those who are graduating. Application deadline for the Founderships are in May, but if you think you might be interested, please contact the Student Enterprise Team as soon as possible to find out more about what is involved:

Read on to find out more about the students and what they are achieving over the summer in 2020! The video provided on the right provides an insight into what the 2019 students got out of the opportunity.

This opportunity is generously supported with funding from the University of Southampton alumni community.

The Foundership Grant Fund cohort 2019/20

Christopher McGovern, founder of CMG Bicycles


(MEng Mechanical Engineering) CMG Bicycles - Full custom bespoke steel bicycle frames

Megan Harrison, founder of Gold Castles


(BA Politics, Spanish, & Latin American Studies) Gold Castles - Lead Generation for SaaS

Sally Goillon, Co-founder of Small Steps


(BSc Psychology) Small Steps - Subscription box for discovering sustainable products

Kaloyan Danovski, Co-founder of Small Steps


(MEng Computer Science) Small Steps - Subscription box for discovering sustainable products

Til Jordan, founder of Arwin


(BSc Computer Science) Arwin - Water monitoring device

Hannah Foley, founder of SHAKE


(LL.B Bachelor of Laws) SHAKE - Sustainable, high quality and plant-based milkshakes

James Skinner, founder of Dalliance & Noble


(MA Textile Design) Dalliance & Noble - Creative, fashionable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Emmanuel Aghazie, founder of CADturtle


(Masters of Business Admin) CADturtle - Digital CAD collaboration and upskilling platform

Aycha Ates Di Adamo, founder of Afterglow


(BA (Hons) PPE) Afterglow - A safety-focused dating and well-being app for University students

Bence Cserkuti, founder of modulo


(MEng Electrical & Elec Eng) modulo - Interactive platform to help students select their optional modules

Devon Lewis, founder of Inpulse


(PhD Biological Sciences) Inpulse - Smart clothing that enhances muscle activity

Ross Millar, founder of LoFi_Me


(BA Philosophy & Music) LoFi_Me - Custom song creation through mixing vocals into premade beat templates

Scarlett Orr, founder of Automatic Visor Closure System


(MEng Aero & Astro) Automatic Visor Closure System - System to automatically close helmet visor when an impact is detected

John Rocke, founder of Bag'It


(BSc Business Mngmt and Spanish) Bag'It - Software application for campsite bread ordering

Luca Rotaru, founder of Performer's AI


(BEng Electronic Engineering) Performer's AI - Athlete movement data analysis using sensors and machine learning

Foundership 2019/20 Programme
Meet and Greet

The summer calendar kicked off with a Meet and Greet session for the Foundership cohort of fifteen students. Held online through Blackboard Collaborate, this session was the first opportunity for the Foundership cohort to meet and network with each other.

After a welcome session and programme overview, students were able to move around breakout rooms for a series of short, timed speed meetings where they introduced themselves and got to know each other and their ideas. This was followed by a presentation on Entrepreneurial Mindsets and Motivations, focusing on values, ambition and effectively managing feedback.


Enterprise Summer School

Foundership Grant Fund students had the opportunity to participate in the Enterprise Summer School across three days with our experts including Tim Doidge and Southampton Business School professor David Baxter, focussing on tools to validate your business model, including lean startup, the business model canvas, design thinking, developing value propositions and how to deliver a compelling pitch. This session combined expert teaching with interactive activities and in-depth support to refine the Founders' businesses.

Ask Me Anything Sessions

New for this year, the Foundership cohort have several Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions with experts ranging from University of Southampton startup founders sharing their insights to topics such as branding strategy and marketing, legal considerations, the investment landscape and business banking. These unscripted sessions allow the Foundership cohort to hear candid reflections about the ups and downs of starting a business, what common pitfalls to avoid and advice on how to make informed choices.

Informal weekly group catch-up sessions also help the Foundership students to connect and share ideas, offer support to one another and gain peer feedback.

The AMAs have already proven to be an invaluable tool to the Foundership cohort, as the takeaway lessons they have learned thus far have helped them in their startup approach.

Tailored 1:1 support

Student Founders receive tailored 1:1 support from the Student Enterprise Team. These meetings provide an opportunity to review where each student is at in their planning and help provide appropriate support.

Student Founders are also given a Foundership mentor over the summer, selected according to the needs identified by the Foundership student. Specialist University Foundership Advisors are also available to help the Foundership students with specific queries as and when required.

September New Ventures Showcase

In September, all Foundership students will be showcasing the progress made on their ventures at a showcase, delivered online, to an internal University of Southampton audience. Keep checking this page for more details closer to time.

Your business idea can be at any stage to qualify to apply for the Foundership Grant Fund Scheme. We will be assessing your application based on your potential and commitment to grow and develop over the twelve-week period, with a clear focus on how you would spend the time to move forward with our support. So it may be that you are at an early idea stage, at prototyping stage, customer testing stage, or seeking investment stage – all are eligible.

We encourage applications from all types of start up ideas, including, for example, tech start ups, freelance/self-employment and social ventures from the University of Southampton Social Impact Lab.

You can be based anywhere in the UK for the twelve week period, although our preference is for you to remain local to Southampton so that we can support you more effectively. You will be required to submit weekly reports on the progress of your business, including what is working well and not so well, and what you have learnt along the way. You will also be required to attend at least three 2020 Foundership Cohort Development Days virtually during the twelve weeks.

Students that applied for the Foundership Grant Fund were also eligible for the University of Southampton SEED Fund of up to £2,500.

International students who have Tier 4 (General) Student immigration permission are restricted from the Foundership Grant Fund as they are not permitted to be self-employed as undergraduates at the University of Southampton, but they should approach the Student Enterprise team if endorsement has already been gained from the University under the Start Up visa.

The 2019 Enternship Grant Fund has been renamed for 2020 to 'Student Enterprise Founderships'. For more information on the 2019 scheme, please see the Enternship Grant Fund page.

Apply using the form below in Useful Downloads. Some applicants will successfully make it through to interview stage.

If successful in the interview performance, you will be offered the Foundership Grant Fund. During the application process we will have identified any additional support you may require/be seeking, including mentorship, space to work, additional funding.

Meetings will take place between May and the start of the Foundership period to ensure you are well placed to hit the ground running over the summer.

You will be filmed, talking about your hopes from the opportunity at the beginning of the twelve weeks, and during the Foundership.

You will supply weekly reports following a short template, and photos, to share your experiences and progress.

You will meet with the University of Southampton Student Enterprise team virtually on at least three occasions over the twelve week period.

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