Home\ News\ 2023 Funding: Q&A with UKGTF CEO

Applications to open soon

Eligible applicants have already registered with us and will be contacted with a link to the application form soon.

We have received hundreds of responses and are no longer taking new registrants. Further funding opportunities will be announced later this year.

Founder and CEO of UKGTF – Paul Durrant – shares his thoughts on what applicants should be aware of.

What’s different about the upcoming UKGF Funding Round?

Our previous two rounds have provided two-stage funding, mainly for very early-stage projects. For example, our approach has previously allowed solo developers planning to set up a company to apply and secure funding alongside the set-up process. However, for this round, applicants will be required to demonstrate additional evidence regarding their vision for a multi-person company. This also means there will be a single pitch interview session without a second stage trigger for remaining funding.

Why that change in criteria?

We have always worked on a portfolio basis where we have sought a mix of company ages and experience levels. This helps us spread risk and maintain a wide range of experience levels in our funded community. A round-by-round focus helps us to batch-review applications from applicants at similar stages on their growth journeys.

Why the focus on a vision for growth?

Our public funding is designed to create positive economic impacts and one of the easiest measures of that is new employment triggered by business growth. That’s not to say it’s the only way to evidence how our funding makes a difference (which is why we take the portfolio approach described above) but it’s the key outcome measure for this round.

How will that be checked in the application process?

We are introducing an application validation stage where we’ll seek evidence of intent around scale. Ways that this can be demonstrated include showing that the team has been working together for more than a year, even if that’s been contracting, and/or evidencing that the company has been working with two or more hands-on founding directors, and/or applicants that are already co-located at a physical studio, and/or formative teams with a track record of working together leaving other companies to do a start-up. Applicants who can show a filing history for trading accounts for at least a year could also use that to evidence their present status.

How do these requirements evidence a growth intent?

These are all traits that we’ve seen in companies that we’ve funded that have gone on to some degree of business sustainability along with team growth. They aren’t the only way that good things happen, but they are at least indicators of an intent to seek scale, growing beyond a sole practitioner base. That’s why we’ll be applying them in this funding round.

How do you demonstrate a filing history if that’s the growth intent evidence you are providing?

If you want to use your filing history as evidence of growth, you will be able to paste a link to the filing page of your Companies House ‘record of accounts’ into the application form. In practice this is likely to mean that you will be well into your second year of trading by the time you can apply. If you haven’t yet filed accounts, you won’t be able to use this as a piece of evidence – however if filing is imminent and will happen before our closing date, you might want to file them now so you can provide the link. Filing dormant accounts doesn’t count. They must be trading accounts.

What if an applicant hasn’t had any sales yet?

We won’t be prejudicial towards such applicants provided that they meet one or more of the growth intent criteria.

What else should we be doing to prepare for the upcoming funding round?

Making sure that you have a PAYE registration, proper business banking and other housekeeping attended to. We’re also using a new reference document from the BFI regarding diversity – you can find that here. This won’t affect your funding application, but it does give you the chance to familiarise yourself with the criteria and flag to us if you are making a difference to under-representation in any way.

We still have a big focus on contracting and work for hire rather than own IP, should we apply?

Yes, provided you are seeking funding for original IP development and your contracting background is relevant to your application. Your new project may be part of a strategic plan, or triggered by a contracting experience, or something else altogether.