Round 2 funding: Springboard Start-up Fund launched

Springboard Startup Fund 2020

As part of the University's Springboard Programme*, we're pleased to announce that round 2 funding for the Class of 2020 Graduate Start-up Fund launches today. 

Specifically for Class of 2020 graduates, the aim of the Fund is to support graduate entrepreneurship and to provide financial support for graduates to develop and grow a new business idea.
A maximum award up to £4,000 will be available for exceptional applications, with smaller awards likely to be between £1,000 and £2,000. 



  • You have a viable new business idea that is ready to start trading within 6 months of receiving funding. Alternatively you need to have already started trading but are within the first 6 months of first trading
  • You are a 'Class of 2020' graduate. This includes those who passed Assessment Board up to start of 1 March 2021.

Assessment Criteria
Priority will be given to applications from graduate startup companies or freelancers that:
  • Demonstrate evidence of an innovative business idea with a proven market/customers
  • Demonstrate the likelihood of growth in the near future to create jobs
  • Clearly demonstrate evidence of financial need for the award 

Application procedure

Application is online with the submission of an Executive Summary Business Plan (maximum of 3 pages), which should be based on the nine elements of the 'Business Model Canvas', but you are free to write this up in any format. (Guidance is available here)  

We would also welcome any supporting evidence such as a prototype of a product or service e.g. sample of film or video footage or concept designs. 

Shortlisted applications will then take part in a pitching competition. 

Deadline for submission of applications is 1pm on Friday April 16 2021. Pitching competition will take place during the week of 26 April 2021.

The judging panel will be chaired by Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, Assistant Pro-Vice Chancellor for Enterprise, and will include successful Welsh entrepreneurs and a graduate entrepreneur from USW. 

Prof Jones-Evans said, “We know that despite these difficult times, an increasing number of USW graduates will be thinking of taking the plunge and starting their own business. Whilst we are already supporting graduate businesses through a range of programmes and our dedicated incubator at the Startup Stiwdio, this new fund will help provide some of the seed funding that our graduates will need to move from a business idea into creating a new venture”.


If you need support or guidance in submitting an application,  please email [email protected]. Shortlisted applications will be supported in developing their pitches through our dedicated online pitching resources.

Apply online today. 

*What is the USW 2030: Springboard Programme?

Specifically for Class of 2020 graduates, the Springboard Progamme is an employability initiative devised in direct response to the anticipated and actual challenges experienced by Class of 2020 alumni, as they enter the jobs market during this time of unprecedented change and instability.

An 'umbrella Programme' containing a number of initiates to support positive employability, Class of 2020 graduates can benefit from:

  • Springboard Graduate Internship Scheme, with over £10,000 worth of investment made in each graduate intern. 20 internships have been available over two cohorts throughout 2020-21. 

  • Multiple opportunities and engagements to engage in enterprise education and skills training to support new business start-ups

  • #USWNextSteps campaign to bring together resources and opportunities online for Class of 2020, including assorted careers resources and engagement opportunities

  • 20% alumni discount on postgraduate study. 10% loyalty discount on professional training courses

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