Are you eligible for funded growth support? Why you don’t want to miss out on Innovate UK’s bespoke services

Innovate UK Business Growth offers bespoke support that helps innovative businesses grow and scale. You’ll have heard of Innovate UK project funding, loan finance and so on – Innovate UK Business Growth complements these initiatives with bespoke, specialist-led support for ambitious businesses.

We’re a key part of the UK innovation agency’s investment in innovative businesses that drive economic growth. Our specialists can help you become investment ready, revamp your business strategy, internationalise, boost sales through new marketing initiatives, introduce customer-centric design principles and much more. 

The support is specifically designed to help create tangible market impact, overcome barriers to growth and commercialise and internationalise our client’s innovation. 

In a recent interview, our client, Lloyd Peto, Commercial Director at NanoScope Services, summed up our support by saying: 

“When you work for a large company, you can just wander up the corridor and have a chat with an expert in any area you’re struggling with.

“But we’re a team of three and we can’t be brilliant at everything so having that specialist support from Innovate UK Edge in the areas that we need has been excellent.”

This article was written by Gillian Montanaro, Innovation Growth Specialist at Innovate UK South West. Inkwell, the company that runs The Pitch, works with Innovate UK Business Connect. We wanted to draw attention to the support Innovate UK offers that The Pitch community can benefit from.

Is your business eligible for our support?  

We work with any ambitious, technology or innovation-led business that is looking for some help with overcoming specific challenges and growing their business further, whether it has or hasn’t received Innovate UK project funding. Our support covers a broad range of topics, all critical to scaling an innovative business. To give you an idea, let’s explore a few areas: 

Funding and finance

If securing funding and finance is pivotal to your growth, our Innovation and Growth Specialists can help you to develop an approach and understand the options available to you.

Our funding and finance specialists deliver bespoke one-to-one support to help South West innovators to become investment ready, identify appropriate funding sources and submit high-quality grant applications.

Last year, we supported 116 clients to raise £24.5m in grant funding, while 57 clients raised £29.8m in equity finance following our investment readiness support. 

Intellectual Property  

Working in partnership with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), we offer IP Audit grants of up to £2,500 to subsidise an IP Audit carried out by an IP professional of your choice.

The aim is to help you protect and maximise the value of your Intellectual Property assets. As Tom Birbeck, CEO of ARC Marine puts it: 

“IP is the backbone of what we’re raising investment on, and we’ve secured funds that wouldn’t have been possible without the IP Audit.”

Design for Growth 

When fully embedded into strategic decision making, design thinking can have a radical impact on growth potential. That’s the impact we aim to deliver with our Design for Growth service. 

Companies that have been referred by their Innovation and Growth Specialist receive one to one coaching and other support in areas including branding, product design, customer insight and more.

The support helped Bristol-based health and safety technology brand, SpaceBands, adapt to a post-covid environment and raise £1m in investments.

Co-Founder, Ronan Finnegan, said: “We worked with Innovate UK Business Growth to gain a deep understanding of our customer’s needs and design key aspects of our product.

“That process was absolutely paramount to helping us get to where we are today.” 


Our connections, expertise and targeted global programmes can help Innovative businesses identify new market opportunities and scale across the world. 

For instance, our Global Business Innovation Programme (GBIP) provides detailed market knowledge, cultural insight, and introductions and connections, opening doors that you might find difficult to open otherwise. 

In April 2023, Gloucestershire-based Beam Connectivity completed a GBIP trip to South Korea focused on establishing strategic partnerships with in-country counterparts in Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.

“Following the market visit, we applied for bilateral funding with another GBIP participant, Secure Elements, and two South Korean partners,” said CEO Thomas Sors. 

“I’m really pleased to say that we were successful in securing the funding, and will be working in a four party consortium to improve the security of over-the-air software updates to connected vehicles. 

Where to go from here 

If you think Innovate UK Business Growth can help you achieve your ambitions, let’s discuss your barriers to growth. All you need to do is contact me or fill in the form on our website and a member of our team will be in touch.

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Gillian Montanaro
Innovation, Growth and Marketing Specialist at Innovate UK Edge

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