Innovate UK launches £180,000 sharing economy startup competition

startup discussion

Innovate UK’s IC tomorrow programme has launched a competition that will see £180,000 awarded to a number of sharing economy startups.

Six small businesses will be awarded up to £30,000 each to encourage development in the peer-to-peer revolution.

The competition aims to find novel solutions across six different challenge areas: trust, travel and tourism, construction, DIY, innovation and data analytics.

Each of the companies selected will develop prototypes in partnership with a major brand, including Airbnb, Crossrail, Nesta, Kingfisher, Sharing Economy UK and Peterborough City Council in partnership with Opportunity Peterborough and Cranfield University.

As well as receiving funding, the startups will receive mentoring and promotion opportunities plus the chance to work on pre-commercial trials, while retaining 100% of their IP.

Innovate UK’s lead technologist, digital economy and programme manager for IC tomorrow, Matt Sansam said: “The sharing economy is starting to impact many different sectors, but there is still much more that can be done to make the most of this opportunity. This competition seeks innovative startups to help disrupt existing business models and to push the boundaries of the sharing economy even further.”

The deadline for applications is 12pm, Tuesday 12th April 2016.