In partnership with SHAPE, GAP 2021 will be the world's first SHAPE accelerator. SHAPE entrepreneurship is the creation and scaling of ventures, services or products either by innovators with a background in SHAPE subjects or by multi-disciplinary teams with business models and processes that are rooted in SHAPE disciplines.
Designed specifically for ambitious founders with an international outlook, the programme for 12 teams puts investigation, research, and real-world feedback at its core. Unlike other programmes, the support is tailored to the needs of your team and 'idea/startup/company' rather than a strict timeline. This is practical, real-life entrepreneurship with dedicated support.
Over 15 weeks, you will be fully supported by our team of experienced founder coaches to develop your skills, evolve your business and expand your network. The programme will culminate in a demo day to investors and other entrepreneurial players from across the LSE network and beyond.
Starting with onboarding week, you will be introduced to your coaches and invited to a series of inspiring talks from leaders in our network, then given opportunities to meet your cohort and understand the finer details of how the programme will run week to week.
During planning week you will work with your coach, assess your team and business, establish your priorities and set out a plan for the six sprints ahead.
You will then start the first of 6, two-week sprints. Working from your priorities established during planning week, you will work as a team over two weeks to solve problems; focusing on what will move your business forward quickly.
At the end of the six sprints, you will present your progress at a demo day where you will present to investors, prospective partners, and talent interested in your venture.
The programme also includes founder wellness sessions, pitching practice, and peer support activities. Reflecting the unique international community of LSE, GAP is designed to be remote and work with students or working alumni; but for anyone based in London our LSE coworking space in Kentish Town will be available for you to use and meet like-minded entrepreneurs.
Who is GAP designed for?
Founders or teams who already have a basic understanding of their market, customers and end-users, and are on the path to developing their first MVP. The programme is flexible and not every business works the same way but teams who are beyond idea stage and be ready to start shaping, launching, approaching their first set of customers.
Alongside having a solid grounding in the principles of entrepreneurship and business we are looking for teams and founders where:
- At least one founding member is an LSE student, staff or alumni
- They can demonstrate understanding of the market, customers and end users
- They are pre-product or in the process of developing a proposition, MVP and brand
- They can clearly articulate how their business aligns with at least one of the UNSDG's
- They can commit to a minimum of 5 hours per week of online sessions for 15 weeks from the 10th May
- They're interested in signing up to their Founders Pledge
- They’re eligible to work in the United Kingdom, if based in the UK
What can you expect to achieve?
- A clear understanding of your team's strengths and weaknesses
- Business growth and confidence in the direction of your startup
- Growth in your skillset across a range of areas including market and customer insight, problem solving, communication, leadership and product development
- A better understanding of the funding or investment options available to you
- Growth of your network of founders, advisors, mentors and investors
- An understanding of what is required to build a business with ESG principles integrated from the ground up
How does it operate?
- 15 week programme targeted at early-stage business
- Dedicated business coaches
- Access to co-working space and meeting rooms
- Access to LSE Generate network of advisors and mentor
- Work as part of a like-minded community of socially-conscious entrepreneurs
- Mentorship and personal development opportunities
- Access to online learning resources
- Access to the entrepreneurial ecosystem via networking events
- Demo day & graduation ceremony
- Free start-up legal advice from Ignition
- No equity taken or cost for participation
- £5000 stipend per company
- Discounts on software including Notion, AWS, Airtable & Stripe value over 15k
- Access to paid interns to support with research funded by Santander
- Applications open - 17 March
- Onboarding webinar - 23rd March @ 13:00 GMT
- Application deadline - 12th April
- Cohort announced - 30th April
- Start date - 17th May
- Demo Day - 18th August
To APPLY follow this link
Meet the 2020 cohort
The founders in the 2020 cohort span more than 10 nationalities from a range of degree disciplines. 60% of the companies are female-founded.
1001 Stories: A luxury D2C footwear brand with a social purpose; we create beautiful statement shoes whilst lifting marginalised communities out of poverty and into business.
Alxedo: We are a sustainable water company, offering a smart water purification system.
Atlas: A community platform for solving challenges while building in-demand skills.
CauliBox: A digitally-enabled reusable lunchbox scheme that rewards good behaviours.
Crowdless: Provides live data on the crowdedness of supermarkets so that you can choose the best place and the best time to visit.
Gaïa: Gaïa is a sustainability startup that helps you to find zero-waste alternatives to toiletries and say goodbye to plastic in your bathroom.
G.APP17: A digital platform that facilitates strategic partnerships between businesses and non-profit organisations through the SDGs, so that together they can lead the change we need to see in society.
Grounded: We make functional drinks without the cr*p.
KAYTEA: Bringing tea back to the limelight by making it fun and relevant for a new generation of consumers by becoming a value-added tea supplier to food service operators and a consumer packaged iced tea brand.
Lugo: Providing crowdsourced data for curable diseases.
Ocafi: Coffee farming and green coffee sourcing company that stands for transparent, sustainable and fair trade relationships to make farming worthwhile. Bringing the best Brazilian coffees to the world.
Petal App: A mobile app that helps people to build a happy and healthy relationship with food.
Project Happy Note: A personalised gift series over a 3-month period with behavioural science to help your loved one create a positive ritual and to help people connect and reconnect during a difficult time.
ValidApp: Uses AI-powered data-driven applied forensic linguistics techniques to verify school applications and coursework with the aim of detecting fraudulent applications and ghost-writers.