How to get a business grant from the Accelerator scheme

Economics student Zahra Charaffdeen received £2,500 in business funding from Accelerator, a specialist business incubator in East London. She talks to about the achievement.

Tell us about your idea and how you originally thought of it.

Recently the medical world has started to boom with ideas and solutions for medical and surgical training using simulation equipment.

My business idea is called Route 4 Training. It is a medical teaching and training system which enables users to simulate and practice surgical procedures at their own pace; a concept made famous by pilot training and the military.

The equipment bought by hospitals for teaching students, doctors and surgeons, in our opinion, tends to be heavily overpriced and overly complicated, so my solution addresses this issue.

How did you discover the funding?

We were lucky. As we were drawing up the business concept we received an invite to a business competition by London Met Student Business Hatchery, part of Accelerator. We came in first place and won £2,500, together with paid-for office space for one year.

What did you have to do to apply for the funding?

We had to send our business plan and compete with the other contestants at three different stages (application form, business plan and the business pitch) as well as several workshops along the way.

The application stage required us to answer questions to prove that we had a good understanding of our business concept, the market and the potential competition.

The business plan was the product of putting together the information from application and applying what we had learned in the workshops to demonstrate that the business is viable.

Finally the pitch was a ten-minute presentation in front of three well-established businesspeople as well as a chance to showcase two of our teaching products.

What did you spend the money on?

The money will be used get the our company ready to start trading. We are investing £1,000 to set up a user-friendly website that allows visitors to learn about us, buy products and watch videos on how to apply skills such as medical stitching.

We are also putting in a small amount of the money to register the company at Companies House and putting together agreements between the business partners. The rest will go into producing our product range (the details of which we are keeping a secret until our big launch).

Were there any rules/conditions of the business grant in regards to what you could spend the money on?

As long as we spent the money on the business there were no other conditions.

What’s next for Route 4?

Now that we have the resources the next stage will be to starting to sell and creating a brand that people come to for learning medical skills.

Our long term goals will be to work our way into the undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses so that new doctors are competent and confident in performing technical clinical tasks.

Will you be looking for other business grants/competitions?

We will certainly be keeping an eye open for future grants and competitions. More funding means faster development of the business and ultimately a better healthcare system.

What advice would you give others looking to apply for the same thing?

Definitely go for it. I am confident that the experience and lessons that I have learned will make our business stronger and more successful.

For more information, visit the Accelerator website here.

Further advice on Government business grants:

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

Related Topics

Business Accelerators

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