Frequently asked questions and information

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2022 application is now closed. Stay tuned for announcements on the 2023 call. More information Q1 2023.

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

The programme runs for a year, followed by 1-2 years aftercare. You will have to be able to commit for the entire 24 months. However, not everyone involved with the scheme will be required to attend events throughout the year. After the first selection, there will be 4 Phases of further development with selection process at end of each Phase. Up to 5 entrepreneurs from each Cohort will receive support, mentoring and investment from the Programme for the full length of the programme.

For Cohort 4, 2022 the Schedule will as follows:

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. Wednesday June 8 2022 to Wednesday June 15 2022. 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 - Tuesday June 28
  • 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 September 21 and 22 2022. Pitch to the investment panel

Phase 3: Around 5 entrepreneurs/teams will be recommended for up to £140K to develop their business (under continual mentorship) during the period January to December 2023, followed by aftercare support.

  • Selection and due diligence (October to December 2022).
  • 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 up 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 member of the team can attend the residential training sessions. A minimum of one team member can attend the residential training sessions. A minimum of one team member must attend all subsequent training/mentoring activities.

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 £100K in start-up funds, provided as a convertible loan.

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

We will also assist entrepreneurs by introducing them to further investors. We will hold back a portion of the Fund to make smaller investments and/or equity investments only for companies that are more advanced or may require less cash investment to overcome a barrier. In such cases, the Fund will call on investment advice as needed to agree valuations and investment structures.

Upon conversion of the original convertible loan we will enter discussions with the venture. We take an equity share, or cash in the loan and return the funds into the programme 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, you can still apply. Please provide details of the funding secured to date 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.