Aspect Research Commercialisation (ARC) Accelerator

Social sciences, humanities, and the arts for people and economy (SHAPE) disciplines have historically not received the same level of support and funding for entrepreneurial activity as STEM based projects in terms of entrepreneurial training, ideation, mentoring, and practical support. The government programmes that are available are mostly for STEM based innovation and do not quite fit or support early stage projects with innovation potential from social sciences. The ARC Accelerator (formerly called the SUCCESS Programme) is a first-of-its-kind opportunity specifically designed to help SHAPE (Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts) academics and researchers to develop ideas based on their research into businesses or ventures to help people, society and the economy.

The programme is open to SHAPE researchers (students and alumni are not eligible) from Aspect network members.

The ARC Accelerator is a six-month programme, and successful applicants will benefit from:

  • A half-day’s Business Canvas support session to explore and build out their idea
  • A virtual training bootcamp spread over three weeks, led by industry experts, to develop key entrepreneurial skills
  • Specialised, sector specific training, access to experts who have been there before, investors and key networks
  • Dedicated mentorship support to help validate their idea, develop the business model, and support their pitch for funding or investment
  • The chance to pitch for up to £50,000 in prize money at the final showcase event (subject to funder conditions)

What’s next?

The ARC programme team is actively discussing improvements, including the networks of investors and funders, along with additional business model development training for entrepreneurs. The further procurement of more sector experts to work with academics on topics such as how to sell to local government is also important. The programme team anticipates integrating more of the training content that is traditionally taught in quite a siloed manner and separate from the rest of the entrepreneurial experience in order to help the academic entrepreneurs understand how topics like IP, branding, marketing, and competitive strategy work together and influence the overall business strategy. It is anticipated that the ARC accelerator will continue for two more iterations with a view to expand the number of teams accepted into the programme.

To find out more, please contact Chris Fellingham (Head of the ARC Accelerator):


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26 October 2020

SUCCESS project profile: Humanity Research Consultancy

Mina Chiang, Founder, provides an overview of her venture which aims to end modern slavery

20 October 2020

SUCCESS project profile: Sahara Nutrition

Dr Hibbah Osei-kwasi explains what her project is seeking to achieve and how she is benefitting from SUCCESS

15 October 2020

SUCCESS project profile: Evaluability Assessment

Dr Nai Rui Chng outlines his project and the value of SUCCESS

12 October 2020

SUCCESS workshop with Ti Xu of Cibus Health

Practical insights on needs-based innovation.

14 September 2020

Reflecting on lessons learnt from the SUCCESS Programme

An interview with Chris Fellingham, Head of the SUCCESS Programme

21 August 2020

SUCCESS project profile: The State of the States

Chris Gilson explains his interactive resource focused on US politics

17 July 2020

SUCCESS project profile: WallBo

Dr Amol Deshmukh outlines his very timely handwashing focused venture

8 July 2020

SUCCESS workshop by Ruth Daniel, CEO of In Place of War

Practical insights on starting and growing a social enterprise.

8 July 2020

SUCCESS project profile: Keep•It•Human

We spoke to Professor Ricardo Climent about his social enterprise

18 June 2020

SUCCESS project profile: Diagnosing volcanic risk

We spoke to Dr Andrew McGonigle about his fascinating project

16 June 2020

Academic research for a better society: through social entrepreneurship

Insights from one of our SUCCESS programme projects – Cost Calculator for Children’s Services

2 June 2020

SUCCESS project profile: Care Quality Evaluation for asthma (CQEa)

We spoke to Dr Michela Tinelli, Founder of Care Quality Evaluation for asthma

1 June 2020

SUCCESS workshop on social technology

Key insights from our session with Social Tech Trust and Hello Lamp Post

14 May 2020

SUCCESS project profile: Trade Policy Hub

We caught up with Dr Elitsa Garnizova, Lead at the Trade Policy Hub at The London School of Economics and Political Science.

1 May 2020

SUCCESS project profile: go_girl code+create

We caught up with Ashmita Randhawa to find out more about her and her project and what she hopes to get out of the programme.

29 April 2020

How to get noticed – Day 3 of the SUCCESS Bootcamp

Dr Morven Fraser-Walther, Aspect Programme Coordinator at the University of Glasgow, reflects on Day 3 of the SUCCESS Bootcamp.

16 April 2020

Entrepreneurial Challenges – Day 2 of the SUCCESS Bootcamp

Dr Sam Gallagher, Principal Consultant at Oxentia, reflects on day 2 of the SUCCESS bootcamp

6 April 2020

The Grand Depart – Day 1 of the SUCCESS Bootcamp

Chris Fellingham, SUCCESS Programme Lead, reflects on day 1 of the SUCCESS bootcamp

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