Global Incubator Programme

Global Incubator Programme

Innovate UK's Global Incubator Programme provides access for innovative UK small and medium businesses (SMEs) to grow and scale internationally in incubators around the world.

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Fulfil your international growth journey

Innovate UK's global growth accelerator

Our structured programme uses an intensive four-stage method to tackle the challenges that most companies face when entering global markets.

Companies can explore the potential of overseas markets, and access world-class mentors and tailored workspaces. 

The programme operates in four countries: the USA, Canada, Singapore and India.

Who is the Global Incubator Programme for?

In order to be eligible for the Global Incubator Programme, you must:

  • be a UK-based company
  • be a small or medium business based on the EU definition.
What does the Global Incubator Programme offer?

The Global Incubator Programme is an acceleration programme for innovative SMEs to grow and scale internationally and explore the potential of overseas markets through international incubators. During the programme you find international collaborators, partners, customers and the right connections to grow and scale in global markets, sharpen your value proposition and pitch, and expand your professional network.

The four stages of the programme

1. Prepare 

The programme starts with a two-day preparation workshop delivered to the entire cohort in the UK. You will be allocated an adviser who will work with you to develop your strategic development plan for the programme. You will receive an overview of the innovation and sector landscape of the country's market, and training to maximise the incubation experience.

2. Participate

You go on a market visit as a cohort, providing the opportunity to consider technology and market fit, preliminary customer validation and an introduction to ecosystem players.

3. Pursue

You work with your adviser to refine your strategic development plan and spend 3-6 months in the incubator within the market country and experience a tailored programme of activities.

4. Exploit

You work with your adviser to exploit the programme and consider the potential funding, connections, skills, and expertise required to enable opportunities that will impact your company and enable it to grow.

Selection for the programme

The Global Business Innovation Programme operates on a competitive basis and selected businesses are required to actively participate in all four stages.

Companies will be selected against the following criteria:

  • Mindset: The company must be committed to the programme and demonstrate a willingness to proactively engage.
  • Programme fit: Must be a highly innovative, ambitious and high growth-oriented company with a verified business plan and a commitment to implement it.
  • Product market fit: The product has the potential to fit with the ecosystem and market of the partner country.
  • Level of innovation: Given the competitive markets of the Global Incubation Programme, the company should offer a strong product or service which is innovative.
  • Growth potential: The company should the potential to achieve high growth: over 20% annual growth.
  • Resources and capacity: The company needs sufficient capacity and resources to commit to the programme, and ability to capitalise on the opportunities which arise.

The application process consists of a short application form and companies shortlisted will be invited for an interview. Innovate UK is committed to enabling applicants to have equal opportunities to participate in this programme. We are flexible in being able to accommodate additional requirements for applicants to participate.

What we expect from participating companies

Innovate UK expects participants in the programme to:

Be committed – be involved in all parts of the programme and play an active role.

  • Maximise their chances: work closely with the advisors to seek the greatest advantage from the programme.
  • Demonstrate sufficient investment: ensure that the company has the resources to participate effectively in the programme.
  • Develop and implement an impact focused action plan: working closely with their adviser.
  • Raise any issues: ask for help and support if not getting traction.
  • Engage an appropriate representative in the programme: discuss this with their adviser.
  • Support and challenge each other.