Frequently asked questions and information

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2023 applications opening soon! Stay tuned for announcements on the 2023 call.

We only fund entrepreneurs and start-ups with ideas and products targeted at the agricultural and food production sectors that have a positive impact on mitigating climate change.

The programme runs for approximately six months, followed by 1 year of mentored aftercare. After this you will be included in the alumni. You will have to be able to commit to the workshops, meeting dates and mentoring for the entire first 18 months. However, not everyone will be required to attend all events in this period. After the first selection, there will be 2 Phases of further development with selection process at end of each Phase. in conclusion, up to 5 entrepreneurs from each Cohort will receive support, mentoring and investment from the Programme for the full length of the programme.

The schedule will look as as follows (specific dates to be announced soon):

Phase 1: Around 20 entrepreneurs/teams will be selected to participate in a 6 day workshop (one representative of the team will have to attend the workshop):

  • Virtual Workshop Phase 1. (Dates to be confirmed). Full days

Phase 2: Around 10 Entrepreneurs/teams will be selected from the first workshop to enter an approximately 3.5 month semi-residential and virtual training to build their ventures (presentation and activities combined with mentored individual work).

  • Matrix meeting of 1 hour (Date to be confirmed)
  • Weekly or bi-weekly mentor meetings during Phase 2
  • Two to four 1-2-1 meetings with science experts during Phase 2
  • Climate Change impact meetings to build your climate change impact case on your business model
  • Progress meetings during Phase 2
  • Two days Pitch practice workshop at the end of Phase 2
  • Investment days. Dates to be confirmed - Expected early December 2023. Pitch to the investment panel

Phase 3: Up to 5 entrepreneurs/teams will be recommended for up to £140K to develop their business (under continual mentorship) during the 12 month period following investment (March 2024 - 2025), followed by alumni support.

  • Selection and due diligence (TBC - December 2023 - February 2024).
  • Investment; One-year funded support
  • Mentor meeting during Phase 3 of min. one meeting per month with your mentor
  • Half-term progress and end meeting with the Investment Panel
  • Invitation to events and investment opportunities.

Phase 4: after end of Phase 3.

  • Onwards member of the Shake Climate Change Alumni network
  • Potential to partner for further investment
  • Invitation to events

Yes, but preference will be given to applications from teams. Having a team expedites development and enhances the probability of success. However, only one team member must attend the residential training sessions, and all subsequent training/mentoring activities. Additional team members may join where possible.

A minimum amount of critical core competences must be available from the start to allow fast progress. However, through training and support we may be able to assist you further to build capacities and relationships with other partners.

Most of the programme's is run online and only a few meeting such as the Pitch to the Investment Panel will be held onsite. This will initially be located at Rothamsted Research at Harpenden UK. We cover accommodation for one person per-start up for each of the phases outlined above. Some activities can also be on the campuses of the Universities parties.

No, but you need to be resident in the UK and allowed to work.

Each successful applicant will get up to £140K in start-up funds, provided as a convertible loan.

You will also receive in-direct investment in you and your company through the workshop, mentoring, training and aftercare.

We will further assist entrepreneurs by introducing them to potential investors.

The goal of the Convertible Loan is to obtain equity shares in the ventures in a manner that is favourable to the entrepreneurs and aligned with the practices of a social investment under the Charities Act. The conversion events that would trigger conversion of the original convertible loan into equity shares will be discussed with each venture. We do not profit from any returns, but return any proceeds into an 'Evergreen Fund' to support future ventures.

Yes, you will have to be incorporated as a Limited Company registered with Companies House prior to receiving any funding. Incorporation prior to applying for the program is a bonus.

Yes, you can still apply. Please provide details of the programme in your application.

Yes, you can still apply. Please provide details of the programme in your application.

Yes, but we recommend you focus on one idea. In exceptional cases two ideas will be considered but in general only one idea will be selected and approved.

Potentially yes, if market need/opportunity is particularly compelling and the ideas are sufficiently differentiated.

Yes, but if you are accepted into the programme the focus will be running a test trial and proof-of-concept. Should the funds offered by the programme not be sufficient to support this, it will be your responsibility to raise further capital elsewhere. We would want to see convincing evidence of your ability to full any funding shortfall.

No, you only need to be at Rothamsted, or at one of the University campuses, in those days needed to participate in the mandatory events. Mentoring can be done by e.g. by phone or skype. We will provide hot-desking facilities free of charge for these days. At all the other times you will be working at your company's home site.

No. This will be integrated later in the process. A completed application form is sufficient to start with.

No. However, you can contact us for further information at and we will redirect your enquiry to the most suitable person.

All participants who have participated in full length of the programme phase 3, will be enrolled in our alumni network which allow you to participate to future meetings and events. The network can also assist with developing the venture further and getting additional investment.