Are you excellent at what you do?

We want people with business excellence.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a PhD from Oxford or learnt to code in your bedroom. We want people who can get things done and make brilliant things happen.

We believe in creating long-term sustainable impact through technology and high-performance teams. The question you need to ask yourself is:

“Are you ready to tackle a global problem and create a lasting real-world impact through building a thriving tech business?”

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Who we want

We want candidates who aren’t afraid to do things differently. You need to be prepared for one of the hardest challenges you’ll ever face, and ready to embark on a life-changing adventure.

We want candidates with the ambition, drive, vision, and commitment to solve problems and create a lasting, sustainable impact.

If you want the chance to see what you are made of, then this is it.

What you get

You’ll work alongside iconic global brands and strategic partners, you’ll have access to a range of different experts who are on hand to guide and advise you, you’ll work in an elite, high-performing team, and you’ll form a start-up tech business that has the potential to be scaled globally.

What’s more you’ll receive a comprehensive financial support package while studying for a Masters to help equip you on your startup journey alongside working in state-of-the-art cutting edge surroundings.

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FAQs

What are the entry requirements?

The academic entry requirements are a 2.1 in a relevant subject, or equivalent experience in your field.

The qualification for “relevant subject” is a STEM subject if you are applying as a developer, a digital arts subject if you are applying as an artist, or business degree if you are applying as an entrepreneur. If your degree doesn’t tie up with one of these categories, but you nonetheless believe that you would make a good candidate for the programme then please apply with a clear justification in your personal statement.

If you do not hold a degree but have equivalent experience then please apply, again with clear justification in your personal statement.

Those who are not native English speakers will need to meet our English Language requirements – see the Falmouth University website for details.

I'm an international student, can I still apply?

You’ll need a Student Route Visa and will need to submit additional documentation as part of your application. The following information will need to be included when you apply:

  • Passport or birth certificate
  • A copy of any existing visa if you already have permission to be in the UK
  • Degree certificate/s or proof of other Level 3 (A level equivalent or above) qualifications
  • English language test results (if you are not a native English language speaker)
  • CV

What support is available?

During your first year, you will be a student of Falmouth University with all of the support services and wrap-around that this provides.

For a total incubation cohort of 80 students we have a dedicated studio staff team of 8, who operate along with several academic staff to deliver the programme. However, these people are also your gateway to the significant support available through the university – the professionals who regularly perform the kinds of tasks that you will be involved with; business planning, designing products, rigorously performing due diligence on business opportunities.

What kind of product might I be working on?

The programme aligns itself with Cornwall’s wider goals and areas of expertise; these being Digital Economy, Marine-tech, Agri-tech, Aerospace and E-Health/Wellbeing. This means that the opportunities are wide – not simply focussed on one area.

We have industry partners ranging from Amazon Web Services across to Cornwall Food and Drink, out to Sony Entertainment, and even Pendennis Shipyards, an award-winning superyacht company. The NHS and charities partner with us in the health area, and Goonhilly Earth Station (among others) provides challenges in the aerospace arena. What is more, these industry partners present problems, not solutions; you are tasked to find the solution.

Do I get to choose who to work with?

No. We have a careful recruitment process making use of the significant experience on the studio team and across the university in recruiting effective individuals into high-performance teams. Through the process we build teams that have complimentary skills, and complimentary personalities. These skills and personalities are also considered as we determine which industry challenges are posed to each team.

Once you are placed together as teams, we work with you to build effective team dynamics and working practices, and resolve any emergent issues as they arise.

How does the equity split work?

Once you reach the end of the first year, and company is incorporated, with the default equity split is 24.9% for Falmouth University, the remainder shared equally between team members. However, it is likely that, at your team’s discretion, your equity will be partly diluted by investors and options for early employees.

Note that where visa requirements are pending on certain founders, companies may be incorporated with different equity holdings whilst such issues are resolved.

What is my time commitment?

Every student on the programme commits to a minimum of a 40-hour working week.

The programme is a complete 12-month programme – any holidays are in negotiation with your team, and need to be aware of the fact that you are building a startup company through the programme. The expectation is that you will take less than 25 days holiday through the programme, in line with UK private company norms. Holiday is highly discouraged during the first 3 months of the programme, to avoid hindering team formation.

What happens after year 2?

After the acceleration phase, you will find office space around Cornwall, and continue to grow your company, with Falmouth University as an active investor and your cohort (and other tech companies in Cornwall) in your local network.

The terms of the programme require that the companies remain headquartered and incorporated in Cornwall for five years after incorporation. Although this doesn’t entirely preclude the directors living elsewhere, you and your investors will naturally want to ensure that such an arrangement will be in the best interests of your company.

If you are entering the UK to join Launchpad under a Student Route visa, then you’ll need to transition to a Start-Up visa towards the end of the first year, or at the start of year 2. Continuing with the Launchpad programme will be dependent on securing this visa transition.

Do I have to move to Cornwall?

Yes. The programme is based in Cornwall, and is specifically aimed at building the Cornish tech sector. Whilst we make much use of online collaboration technology, substantial elements of the MSc requires physical attendance. In addition, we believe that founding teams require significant amounts of face-to-face contact to build a trusting and high-performance culture.

We expect Launchpad company founders from outside the UK to make every effort to remain located with the company past the first year, but cannot guarantee immigration status to make that possible. Therefore securing a transition to a Startup visa may be necessary for those founders to continue with the programme, and the company.

Launchpad is an innovative postgraduate incubation and acceleration programme. It is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Research England and Cornwall Council.

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