RCA launches scheme to connect graduate start-ups with mentors

Keiligh Baker's picture
by Keiligh Baker

The Royal College of Art’s centre for enterprise and entrepreneurship, InnovationRCA, has reached a significant milestone on its journey, helping 82 graduates launch more than 50 start-ups.

InnovationRCA is the Royal College of Art’s centre for enterprise and entrepreneurship, helping students and graduates transform compelling ideas into successful businesses.

It provides start-up incubation services, to help exceptional graduate start-ups with compelling ideas rapidly generate technological, market or commercial proof of concept and transform into profitable and investable businesses.

These companies range from one producing a vegan leather alternative made from pineapple leaves, to making clothes that expand as children grow and another producing concrete material available in a roll.

Collectively these companies have created more than 650 UK jobs and generated more than £87 million turnover in the last 10 years. A number of InnovationRCA’s companies have either achieved the status of scale-up* or are very close to achieving this.

To help the companies reach the next level and create successful and sustainable British companies, InnovationRCA has launched a new First50 Scale-Up programme which will pair InnovationRCA entrepreneurs with senior executives from industry to foster future heavyweight talent in innovation and disruption.

InnovationRCA director, Dr Nadia Danhash, said: 'The First50 Scale-Up programme is about so much more than celebrating the achievements of our graduate companies.

"It’s about recognising their potential to scale to even greater heights, create more jobs and exports, improve more people's livesand change the world we live in. We've been with them from day one and we will continue to stand with them shoulder to shoulder and support them with this new scale-up programme.'

RCA Vice-Chancellor, Dr Paul Thompson, said: ‘We are so pleased to be launching the First50 Scale-Up programme of support that says that the RCA is your partner for life and will continue tosupport you long after you’ve graduated.

"We must give thanks to a number of senior executives from global and British large corporations have agreed to become scale-up business fellows giving up their time to meet our founders and provide insights to help these companies grow."