About Supporting Technology Startup Projects


This challenge is for small teams who would like to pilot their existing product within colleges, universities or skills providers.  We are offering start up grants to enable them to turn their working beta into a functioning product.


To participate either your team leader must be enrolled on a course in UK higher or further education OR you must have a sponsor from a university, college or learning provider in the UK and be piloting your product in the institution. In either case your product should be ready for piloting in an institution.

The Process

Once an idea has been submitted to the site, people can vote for it. Individuals can only vote once per idea, but for as many separate ideas as they like.

You need to reach 250 votes.  And it’s a good opportunity for you to show off your commitment to the project and your promotional skills.

Once voting closes on 6 June, Jisc will evaluate every idea that reaches the voting threshold and invite the top eight teams to interviews, where we will select those that will receive funding.

Competition dates

  • Competition opens for submissions and voting: 2 March 2016
  • Submissions close: Monday 23 May 2016 at 23:30
  • Voting closes: Monday 6 June 2016 at 09:00
  • Successful project teams notified: during the week commencing Monday 13 June 2016
  • Interviews: week commencing Monday 20 June 2015
  • Successful teams notified: Friday 24 June 2015

Funding and support meetings

All successful projects will attend an initial meeting where support and mentoring arrangements will be agreed with each team.

Jisc will then provide funding of up to £20,000 to each successful project to allow them to develop their idea into a useable product for UK education. During this time each team will also need to base themselves in a supportive environment such as a start-up hub or co-location office as we know from experience that doing so contributes considerably to their chance of success.

Successful teams will

  • participate in an intensive business mentoring scheme from July to January
  • develop a more robust product, as part of the Jisc delivery platform that will provide quality assured products to universities and colleges
  • gain the support of a business mentor to help you with promotion, marketing and business planning


Voting threshold

Ideas that reach a minimum of 250 votes will qualify to be considered for interview. Jisc may consider projects below the voting threshold if an insufficient number of ideas achieve that threshold of votes. Jisc check voting patterns for vote spamming and any irregular voting.

How many ideas will be supported?

We anticipate that we will fund five ideas from this competition although we may decide to support more or fewer, depending on suitability.

Who owns my intellectual property?

The IP will remain with the project teams and no equity will be required by Jisc. In order to better serve our customers, we may request a licence to deliver the product via a new delivery platform for a period of two years under an agreement with the project team.