VocTech Seed 2019 Feedback

Business

Monday 1st April 2019

Our #VocTech Seed Fund offers early-stage funding for ideas that use digital tech to improve adult vocational skills. We look for imaginative projects with good ideas for new products and services which could make a real difference to adult learning. We provide funding and support to help turn those ideas into robust, demonstrable digital products or services.


Over 120 Applications

We were delighted to get over 120 applications for the 2019 funding call. We had a wide spread of applications from across the UK covering a wide range of digital technology. Many applicants took the opportunity to attend pre-application workshops or webinars which we host to enable people to make the most of their application.

We know that unsuccessful Stage 1 applicants have also put a lot of effort into their applications and we thought it might be useful to set out some of the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful applications below, to help you with your potential future applications.


What Stood Out In Successful Stage 1 Applications?

  • They were clear about the vocational problem that will be addressed and why their ideas were innovative.
  • The projects were clear about who the target audience would be and how learners would benefit.
  • They clearly explained how their idea had the potential to achieve scale – to eventually reach large numbers of learners and to make a difference.

Stage 1 Applications That Were Unsuccessful Contained One Or More Of These elements:

  • They did not provide a clear explanation of the projects’ objectives and the feasibility of achieving these. 
  • They had not understood what Ufi means by vocational skills and proposed general employability skills, such as CV writing, team work, interviewing skills, etc.
  • They were not aiming to achieve the scale that Ufi is seeking – it wasn’t clear how the solution would be applied outside of a single organisation or how a large number of learners would benefit from the proposed solution when Ufi funding had ended.
  • They did not describe a clear route to market and failed to explain how their product or service would reach their learners/users. Stronger applications were clear about who they were targeting and whether they had already established relationships with these stakeholder groups (e.g. how learners/employers would be involved in user testing).
  • Some appeared to be business development projects, involving iteration of existing products, rather than anything new and innovative. Additionally, these applications often failed to make the case for charitable funding.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to apply. There will be further funding rounds in 2019, so make sure you have signed up for our newsletter, to be informed when new funding rounds open. VocTech Seed will run again for new applications in 2020.