A West of England Combined Authority funded programme


A West of England Combined Authority funded programme

Start is a free program designed to develop you from tech-based business idea to running your own start-up company through intensive training, access to successful founders & mentors and the opportunity to pitch award-winning business incubators and accelerators.

Representation really matters to us and we are committed to this. We are really keen to support community and ethnic minority led Entrepreneurship through this initiative. If you think “Start probably isn’t for me”, then we definitely want to hear your idea!

The idea you submit belongs to you and will not be shared with anyone beyond the project team or used by anyone, whether you take part in the programme or not.

Submit Interest

28 hours training, workshops, and mentoring.

Shared networks and investment opportunities.

Earn a free place in our incubation programmes.

Supported by 4 West of England Universities.

This is a West of England Combined Authority funded programme led by UWE Bristol in collaboration with University of Bristol, University of Bath, Bath Spa University and techSPARK

The Start Programme

Helping people in the West of England be successful with their technology based ideas.

Tess O'Shea - Seatox
"There's a lot of support here, sessions, one-to-ones. It just feels like you're well looked after."

The Universities that are supporting Start have a fantastic track record in supporting ideas and startups. Tess is just one example from the University of the West of England’s Launch Space.

Always wanted to run your own startup?

Desperate to see your idea come to life?

Want to create something that’s yours?

Know you want to make an impact?

What's the process?

Fill out our straightforward expression of interest form and one of our team will get in touch.

After speaking to you and learning more about what you would like to achieve, the Start team will review your idea.

It’s a simple as that! If you would like someone to guide you through the form, you can contact us:

By phone: +44 (0)117 32 81043

By email:

Start is open to anyone within the West of England region shown in the map. If you are outside of this area but would like to start a business here, then please still get in touch.

Start is available to anyone based within the the West of England region as shown in the map on this page. You can check if your postcode falls within there region here:

Start is open to anyone living in the area or who wants to start a business here.

If you’re in the West of England region (or want to start a business here), have a technology-based business idea that is scalable and could one day employ more people, then you are eligible for Start.

We’re looking for people who are still at an early stage with their idea. You don’t need to have setup a business or done any trade. You don’t even need to have made a business plan or know what you would want to call your company.

If you’ve just got an idea for a technology-based business that can scale and one day employ other people, then Start is for you.

Anyone eligible for registers their interest will be invited to a half day introduction where you’ll be able to learn more about the programme, meet your peers and find out dates and locations for the rest of the programme.

After the half day you’ll either move onto the first cohort onto the programme, be provided with resources to develop your idea and then invited to a later cohort or directed to a more suitable programme for your idea.

Our mentors and programme experts will make sure you’ll be properly directed to receive the best help possible for your idea to help you succeed.

Our first half day will take place in Bristol (later half-days will be at different locations in the West of England region). After we have understood who will be entering the first cohort we will create a location and time format that suits those in the cohort.