SPARK School – Frequently Asked Questions

You’re interested in joining SPARK School? Fantastic, here’s some answers to the questions we expect people to have. Anything we haven’t covered? Please contact [email protected] with the subject SPARK School.

Who can apply for the programme?

We are looking to support people who are under-represented as founders of tech-enabled businesses. This could include applications from people who identify as women, people from BAME backgrounds, people who are LGBT+, people with disabilities and people from disadvantaged backgrounds.  We will consider all applications with a reasoning for why the applicant it under-represented.

We want to help people to set up and grow a successful tech-enabled business. We ask people who apply to have an idea what this could be, it doesn’t have to be a fully developed concept (we’ll help with that!) or you can have already started your journey and need some extra support. Ultimately the programme is designed to help you take an early stage idea and develop it into a successful business

What will I get out of it?

The programme will work with you to help give you the confidence, tools and networks to set up and grow your business.  Working with our partners you’ll be able to build your business plans, meet potential clients and consider investment opportunities.

What will I do in the programme?

The programme has a number of modules to help you get where you want to be:

·      10 weeks of guided learning in 3 hour evening blocks from our trainers and external experts/entrepreneurs

·      Online resources: the course is supported via access to our online content where all material and resources live.

·      2 Saturday sessions allowing structured work and 1-2-1 mentoring with experienced entrepreneurs and founders

·      One-on-one mentoring: you’ll have access to regular check-ins with your Course Leaders and mentors every week throughout the course.

·      Start up Showcase: pitch for either support, investment or to find a co-founder.

·      Alumni Network: Ongoing support through our alumni network and TechSPARK’s wider community

How does the guided learning work?

The guided learning course is delivered over 10 weeks in evening sessions on a Tuesday night at locations in Bristol city centre. Two hours of the session will be delivered by our trainers who are successful entrepreneurs in their own right. The third hour of the session is led by either an expert in that week’s subject or a meeting with a successful founder to hear about their journey. The course is made up of 10 weeks which are about:

1.     What makes a good business idea?

2.     Market Research, selection and positioning

3.     Business Models and Strategy

4.     Marketing, promotion & branding a go-to-market strategy

5.     Product Development & IP Protection

6.     Business Finances

7.     Raising Funds & Funding Strategies

8.     Selling a Business

9.     Pitching and Presentation Skills

10.  Pulling it all together- The Pitch

Does it cost anything?

Everything on the programme is completely free

How much time will it take?

We appreciate that many of the people applying for the programme have responsibilities at work and home. We have tried to keep the programme as flexible as possible to allow for this. 

What’s the application process?

The application process is made online through this website. We’ll then be in touch about any clarifying questions and select our final cohort.

What’s the timeline?

Applications are open from 29 March – 21 April

Successful applicants will be notified by 26 April

The course will take place from 7 May – 9 July