Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

Z21 Funding Calls

About the Call

The Z21 Innovation Fund is seeking applications from potential ventures to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), achieve product market fit, and gain traction with users. 

Applicants can apply for funding up to £6,300 for a 3-month MVP Project.  At the end of this period, MVP Projects will present to the Z21 Grant and Investment Panel and will have the opportunity to apply for Pre-Seed funding up to £31,500.  The award of an MVP grant does not guarantee progression to the Pre-Seed stage: progression is determined by the Grant and Investment Panel, based on the success of the MVP stage.

Accelerator Support

All successful projects will receive support from Future Worlds, a University of Southampton on-campus startup incubator which has a valuable external network of mentors, investors and experts.

Future Worlds will offer acceleration, helping projects with value proposition, market product fit, and making introductions to mentors. This support will continue through the Pre-Seed stage with help to script, film and edit a professional pitch video.  At the end of the 6-month Pre-Seed Funding stage, projects will be invited to a Demo Day to pitch to investors.

How to apply

Step 1: Download and read the Technical Guidance for Applicants

Step 2: Complete the Application Form (below) and return to Susan Davies at

We are only able to accept applications from students or staff studying or working at the University of Southampton.  Note that students who have graduated may apply within one year of graduating.

Key Dates

Deadline for applications: 5pm on Wednesday 4 September 2019
Successful applicants will be invited to an interviews on:
Wednesday 11 September 2019
Applicants who are awarded MVP funding will be invited to a Legal “Surgery Day” (this is an opportunity to discuss Terms and Conditions, which will need to be signed by the applicant(s) and the University before funding commences): Monday 16 September 2019
Funded MVP Projects will run from:

1 October to 31 December 2019

Further information

If you have any questions about the application, the stages of the Z21 Innovation Fund, the eligibility criteria, and the operating processes, please contact Ben Clark at

Useful Downloads

Need the software?PDF Reader
Privacy Settings