Maybe you’ve decided now is the time to turn your creative skill into an enterprise? Have you started making and selling food in a small way and want to scale and grow? Have you solved a problem in your community and want to take it further?

At Real Ideas, we have specialist facilities, great networks and years of experience running enterprises. COVID may have crashed the economy, but we’re determined to help brilliant new businesses, sensational side hustles and profit-making pet projects rise from the ashes.

If you’ve always dreamed that one-day you’d start something – something creative, something tasty, something techy, something awesome! – then you better stop dreaming and start doing because we want to sponsor 10 start-ups or scale-ups with an incredible package of FREE support and one of them could be you!

Whether it’s foodie, digital, artsy, or environmental we’ve got the know how to help you start something that matters. What’s more, we have some awesome spaces, some fantastic facilities, great networks and an audience ready and waiting for your products and services.

From October and for the next year we are offering 10 FREE membership packages worth over £3,000 each to entrepreneurial people with ideas that we think could become brilliant businesses.

The fully funded membership package from Real Ideas will give you access to our co-working spaces, our specialist facilities, our expert business support mentors and access to events, workshops and one to one coaching. We will also connect you with our partners, including Crowdfunder to help test your plans with the crowd and raise investment.

You’ll also receive a fully-funded three month introductory membership to the Devon and Plymouth Chamber worth over £500 – an amazing package of support.

You’ll have the ability to showcase your work through our public programme of events and experiences, in our Spaces, and to our Members… and you never know, we might even become a customer too!

We’re particularly keen on ideas that will use our commercial kitchens (including five deck bread oven), our jewellery making, specialist facilities and the wonderful courtyard space at Ocean Studios… We’re also keen to support start-ups that have social and / or environmental aims too.

If you have an idea to Start Something and think we could help, then get applying!

How to apply:

We’re looking for ideas and passion, not a 50-page proposal. To apply for one of our fully funded Start Something memberships, all you need to do is:

  1. Sign up for our webinar* where you can hear all about the opportunity and have the chance to ask questions.
  2. Following the webinar you’ll be sent an email with a link to download the info pack that explains all about the expertise, space and facilities we have to offer.
  3. In the info pack you’ll find our super simple 1-sider business canvas – all the best business plans fit on a napkin you know! Fill that out with as much detail as you have right now. Don’t worry if there are some gaps, that’s exactly where we can help!
  4. Make a short video – no longer than 3 mins or 4GB in size – telling us about your business idea. We want to know how our free package of support could help you, where you want your business to be in 12 months’ time and how your idea could make the world a better place. Tell us about any funding or support you’ve received so far and don’t forget to give us your social handles so we can check you out and give you a like and a follow online! Your video doesn’t have to be expertly shot or edited, so don’t worry about that, just focus on communicating your idea with passion!
  5. Send your videos via the distributed link by 9am on 1st September 2020.

What happens next?

We’ll select the best submissions to come and meet us in person (at a safe distance, or we can chat online, whatever you feel comfortable with) where we can learn more about you, your dreams, your plans and where this fully funded Membership could take you. From there we’ll offer our 10 favourite ideas the opportunity to Start Something with our support**.

What are you waiting for? There’s never been a better time to Start Something of your own!

This activity is part of the iMayflower project and has been supported by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who fund the Cultural Development Fund, which is administered by Arts Council England.

*You’ll need to join us as a FREE member to access the webinar – all this means is that you’ll get access to all our insider news and info. Being a FREE member really is free, you can manage your preferences with us at any time through our Member portal should you wish to opt out.

**Ts & Cs apply etc – detail of this needs sorting, but nothing too heavy handed.

Terms and Conditions

  • To apply, candidates must be over 18 years. (Please do get in touch if you are under 18 years and are hoping to Start something!)
  • We are seeking applications from a diverse range of businesses and individuals , while we do not specify any geographic eligibility, candidates are advised to consider the locations of our co working spaces and facilities, and the practicalities of accessing these if residing outside of these areas. To find out more about our spaces, get in touch or visit our website for more info.
  • Start Something offers free membership package for 12 months, successful businesses will be expected to engage with us for the duration of this period.
  • Successful Start candidates will be expected to observe our existing Membership Terms and Conditions You can find information on Real Ideas policies here