The helix Way

The Lean Launch Programme

The Lean Launch Programme is a game-changing 10 week part-time online customer discovery programme that allows you to rapidly test whether there is a market for your idea, product or service from the comfort of your workplace/home.

Our 10-week online market discovery programme is designed using lean start-up methodology. Lean start-up takes the scientific method (hypothesise, test, evaluate) and applies it to business ideas. You will learn how to use this approach to test what your potential customers think about your idea, product or service. 

Past participants say that having 10-weeks of support and dedicated time to spend on customer discovery has dramatically changed their perspective on their innovation.

‘The guidance the programme and its mentors have given has been invaluable the insight we (the project team) have gained, including, from the clinical interviews has been incredible, and something we wouldn’t have normally done outside our contacts.’

Professor Cheryl Miller, Faculty Lead for Early Career Researchers, Research Lead for Bioengineering and Health Technologies Group (BHT), University of Sheffield 

What Does It Include?

£2,500 for market discovery activities

£1,200 towards Business Advisor support

Offers a pathway towards a further £30,000 of ICURe funding plus follow-on funding support

Game changing online delivery

Our online delivery means that you can contribute to the programme flexibly at times that suit you.

Access to experts in bringing research to market

You will have weekly access to our team of experts and we will proactively connect you to our network of entrepreneurs, investors and funders.

Market Explorer

We will create a personalised report which includes data about your potential customers, competitors and suppliers plus a comprehensive overview of the intellectual property landscape for your sector

Bootcamp Training

2-day online bootcamp where you will learn how to talk about your technology to customers, develop a hypothetical business model and identify your customers’ pain points. 

10-week Market Validation

You will plan and execute 10 weeks of tailored customer discovery for your idea, product or service using online software, videoconferencing and marketing tools. You will receive weekly 1-hour coaching clinics from experts in taking research ideas to market.

Pitch Training

1-day online pitch training to teach you how to pitch your ideas to potential customers and investors

Options Roundabout Pitches

You will have the opportunity to pitch to an experienced panel of funders, stakeholders and investors to help accelerate the impact from your research. 

Who is eligible?

The Lean Launch Programme has received funding from InnovateUK to widen participation of University teams from across all UK Universities into the 4-month ICURe programme.

This programme offers a pathway towards further funding, with 30% of our teams securing a minimum of £30,000 InnovateUK ICURe funds.

The programme is open to all UK universities, however, we are actively seeking applications from:

Universities who have not participated in the 4-month ICURe programme.

Universities who do not receive HEIF funding.

Teams led by early career researchers and/or principal investigators who are from under-represented groups including women, people of colour, those living with disabilities and those from the LGBTQI+ communities.

Teams from regional Universities.

We accept innovations from any discipline or background, but are particularly interested in projects in Health, Climate Change and Digital innovation.

To be eligible, you must be an early career researcher (from Ph.D. to post-doctoral researcher) and be able to build a team that includes a principal investigator (PI) and a representative from your University Technology Transfer Office (TTO).

A pathway towards future ICURe funding

Our past Lean Launch Programme participants have gone on to secure a minimum of £30,000 of ICURe funding grants and launch their businesses. 

Read about their journeys here!

“Lean Launch provided us with the insight we needed to get a better understanding of our value proposition.”

Dr Hala Dhowre, University of Liverpool
Pharmacologist and Post-doctoral researcher 
Winner of Best Pitch and Most Engaged Research at Lean Launch Pitch Day (2020)

How Do I Apply?

The online application form will ask you a series of questions about you, your team and your project. It will be a competitive process. You will need to have engaged with your University Technology Transfer Office (TTO) and your Principal Investigator prior to applying. 

Applications are currently closed but will open again soon.

“The programme allowed us to create a clear vision and value proposition to talk to companies confidently about our nanoparticles.”

Dr Inam Ul Ahad, Dublin City University
Research Development Manager and Biomedical Engineer (2019)

Have you got questions about the programme?

We’d love to hear from you with any questions you have about the programme or how it works.  
Click the button below to email our Lean Start-Up Programme Manager Kat Maguire

Upcoming Programme Dates

Please note that the Lean Launch Programme is currently closed for applications.

 For more information contact Lean Launch Programme Manager: