Allia Serious Impact provides a range of programmes to support entrepreneurs to develop and grow impact ventures. The programme has so far worked with over 1,000 ventures and entrepreneurs to explore their ideas, innovate, start up, grow or scale. Paul Hughes from Allia is a judge at the CW Discovering Start-Ups Competition in September.
For Allia, impact is key, and the programmes that Allia runs look for ventures who are focused on helping to improve the lives of others; whether that’s through health & wellbeing, environment & cleantech, community programmes, education initiatives, tech for good, food & agritech or smart cities – they need to make an genuine impact!
Start-ups apply to the sought after Serious Impact accelerator and incubator programmes. If accepted, they receive exclusive access to business mentorship, advice, expert workshops, 1:1 sessions and make valuable connections along the way. With dedication, hard work (and a bit of luck) they will develop the best skills and resources to help them grow their business and deliver impact.
It's fair to say that we wouldn't be where we are today without the Serious Impact programme and it was fantastic in getting us off the ground as a company.
You can find out more about how Biotechspert, has grown through the accelerator in this case study.
If the entrepreneur or venture isn’t quite ready for a dedicated programme, there is early stage support in place to help understand and address those initial challenges when starting out.
Paul Hughes, Director of Enterprise Support at Allia talks through the top 10 things he looks for when taking on applicants of the Serious Impact programme:
We call it Serious Impact for a reason; to work with entrepreneurs who are committed to creating positive impact on people, planet or place. To help them understand the challenges that are facing us all, Allia aligns its work to the UN Sustainable Development Goals; we expect the start-ups to be able to articulate how their solutions address one or more of the 17 Global Goals.
- An understanding of the business growth pathway and milestones to be achieved
Where is the start-up headed, what likely challenges will it face and how do they plan to get there. We want to see that start-ups have done their homework and have a plan for how they intend to develop their business.
- The team
The strength and depth of the team and their domain expertise. Is the team diverse, and do they have relevant experience and commitment needed to succeed.
Do they have realistic growth potential and are they likely to create job opportunities within a reasonable timeframe.
- Quality of business proposition
Have they identified a genuine market need and achievable business model, rather than a solution looking for a problem?
- Strong USP/ competition
Do they understand the current makeup of the market, who are their likely competitors and what would give them an advantage?
- Traction to date
What have they achieved so far – can Allia Serious Impact help accelerate their growth?
- Financial sustainability & fundability
We want businesses that have long-term financial sustainability to deliver long-term impact. Is the venture developing multiple and long-term revenue streams, preferably that don’t rely heavily on grant funding. If they need to raise external investment, is their proposition appropriate to attract investors?
- The ability to ‘tell the story’
Start-ups need to be able to sell their business to many kind of stakeholders – customers, potential employees, investors, and partners. How well they can ‘tell their story’ is vital to succeed.
- The WOW factor
Do they stop you in your tracks?
If you are an entrepreneur and think you demonstrate these 10 criteria, find out more via the Allia Serious Impact website.