Applications close on July 30th for Banbury-based Prodrive Ventures’s 2021 RAPID Challenge, so get in quick

ProDrive Cosicare 1

Have you’ve got a brilliant product you need help bringing to market? If so get your application in quick to Prodrive Ventures the investment arm of British motorsport and advanced engineering business Prodrive, which is closing its 2021 RAPID Challenge programme on July 30th. The event, organised by Prodrive Ventures, wants identify, reward and help bring the best and most innovative British based hardware start-ups to market.

Find out what it’s all about here where you’ll hear from Roland Emmans from HSBC, Malcom Burwell, a serial entrepreneur and hands-on initiator and builder of international deeptech businesses, Vincent Seddon of TBAT Innovation and last year’s winner, Lauren Bell of Cosi Care.

The difference between this competition and the many others, is that where technology and software start-ups have little trouble attracting investment and support, that’s often not the case for innovative hardware start-up companies, which can struggle to commercialise their ideas.

Prodrive, the Banbury-based a world leading motorsport and advanced technology business, wanted to put that right.

While its business and culture is founded in motorsport, it has evolved to help businesses in the automotive, aerospace, marine and other sectors create innovative engineering solutions which realise their ambitions.

And this year the prize package for the Rapid Challenge winner has increased to £75,000.

But no-one’s left out. While each year there is a prize package for the winners, all projects which match the entry criteria benefit from a range of dedicated workshops from the Challenge’s partners which offer valuable advice and insight to help build a business plan for their projects.

These plans are reviewed by an expert panel of judges with a range of backgrounds before five successful submissions go forward to the interview stage, with three reaching the final at Prodrive’s headquarters in Banbury in November. Here they present their projects to an invited audience and the winner is announced.

The winning prize package worth £75,000, includes cash and a range of services from The RAPID Challenge partners: RPD International, TBAT Innovation, HSBC, Crowdcube, Bridgehead International Agency, OnePLM, The IP Asset Partnership and Develop3D.

David Cullimore, Head of Innovation at Prodrive, said: “We came up with the idea of The RAPID Challenge in 2018, as while there were lots of competitions and investment opportunities for technology start-ups, none were focussed on only those producing hardware, something physical and tangible, rather than web or tech based. Britain is a hub of engineering and design creativity and it struck a chord with many entrepreneurs out there struggling to get the support and recognition they needed and deserved.”

Previous winners of The RAPID Challenge are diverse and include EAV (Electric Assisted Vehicles), which has created novel pedal assisted last mile delivery vehicles; and last year’s winner, Cosi Care whose aim is to transform the lives ofchildren suffering from eczema.

The Rapid Challenge is about nurturing British-based talent and all entrants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a disruptive hardware project
  • Have a sustainable business strategy
  • Pre-revenue or up to £1M annual revenue
  • No more than 10 employees
  • Be based in the UKApplications are now open and will close on 30 July 2021.