Have you got a BIG idea or an early stage startup that can change the world for the better? Does your business idea have the potential to have a positive social impact and make money?
BUILD is an inspirational 12-week programme for aspiring entrepreneurs and founders in Leeds City Region who are creating innovative businesses that can grow. We’re looking for early stage startups or business ideas that mix purpose and profit, with founders that have the potential and the ambition to go global, whilst positively impacting the lives of millions of people.
If you answered yes to any of these, apply now… Want to find out more? Read on...Apply now
Over the 12 weeks BUILD will give you the tools to:
BUILD has worked with entrepreneurs and thought leaders from across Leeds City Region to co-design the content. During the programme, you’ll hear from the following companies about what it’s really like to start and scale a business; PanIntelligence, Top Screen Media, Crisp, Rradar, BeerHawk, Data Shed and more. You’ll also engage with our supportive corporates like BJSS, KPMG, ARUP, get access to world-class university research expertise, and investment advice from Ada Ventures, Mercia and North Invest.
BUILD will be delivered over 12 weeks from January/February 2021 through to April/May. The programme is designed with flexibility in mind, and so will be part-time and mostly remote. The commitment will be two days per week of workshop sessions with the cohort, with the rest of the content working flexibly around your schedule.
We’re busy planning the detailed course content plan but here’s some of the key elements of BUILD:
If you have any questions, just email us at
We have 15 places in the programme. Want to find out if it’s for you? Do either of these profiles sound like you?
“I’ve got an idea and I think I'm onto something”
Is this you?
Think you have a solution to a problem and want to bring this idea to life
Think you have a better approach to solving a societal problem
Are working on a side project and believe it can grow
Have identified a gap in the market and have an idea how to solve it
“I’m currently developing or have just launched a startup and am looking for that extra boost of support.”
Is this you?
Have been developing a product and are unsure how to bring it to market
Have created a service and need tofind customers
Need help understanding the viabilityof your startup
Would benefit from connecting with other early stage entrepreneurs and want to engage with a supportive cohort
Answer yes to any or all of the above...Apply now
We understand the business world does not yet provide the same opportunities for everyone.
We are committed to engaging and supporting underrepresented groups, and have designed BUILD to embody and promote diversity and inclusion. We welcome applications from all but in particular will champion underrepresented talent.
We are focusing on including and supporting people from diverse backgrounds. Apply today if you identify as one of the below;
Our diversity and inclusion commitment falls into three categories.
Our roster of content providers, entrepreneurs, mentors and speakers is reflective of the diverse ethos of the programme
Our cohort includes a diverse group of traditionally underrepresented founders in the industry, and all founders on the cohort feel included
Our programme content is designed to help founders think about inclusivity in all aspects of their business; including product design, recruitment, and culture, with additional resources provided to ensure accessibility as needed
Cockerton & Co designs, builds and operates innovation ecosystems which drive entrepreneurship, corporate collaboration and technology advancement. We create the physical infrastructure, business services, accelerator programmes and diverse communities that deliver places of economic resilience and advantage. We work across public bodies, industry partners, universities and the innovator community, to bring about the boldest ambitions for business growth, diversity and inclusion and technological innovation. We are proud to be the delivery partner of the Leeds City Region team that recently completed the MIT REAP programme to launch this pre-accelerator for early stage founders. Find out more about us at www.cockertonand.co
Do I need to pay?
No. This valuable programme is provided free to participants, with thanks to Team Leeds City Region and the generous support of successful founders.
Will Coronavirus impact the programme?
No, we have designed the programme with COVID-19 in mind. Due to restrictions, the majority of this programme will be hosted online with a few in person sessions (if possible).
How long will the programme last?
The programme will run for 12 weeks, from January/February 2021 to beginning of April/May.
Is it full time? Can I work at the same time?
We understand that you might have other commitments whilst you build your business. Our programme is designed with flexibility in mind, and so will be part-time, and mostly remote. The commitment will be 2 days per week of workshop sessions with the cohort, with the rest of the content working flexibly around your schedule.
What tech will I need to take part remotely?
As this is a virtual programme, we plan to run sessions via Zoom, and are using a platform to help you easily chat to the other founders and mentors. You will need a laptop or phone with Wi-Fi or 4G to join Zoom calls and access the platform. We don’t want access to technology to be a barrier to stop you applying, we’ll do our best to make it possible for anyone to attend, so don’t let that stop you. If you’ve any concerns about tech, let us know on your application, and we’ll be in touch about how we can support you.
Can my co-founder(s) join
Yes, bring them along too! We have space for a maximum of 3 co-founders per company as long as all co-founders can commit to attending 80% of the content each. Only one application form is needed but please note how many slots your team would require.
Is the programme for me? Will I be able to understand the content?
You do not need any qualifications, technical background or experience to understand our course content. The course is designed for early stage founders, and we will take you through all the content, alongside mentors, coaches, and our programme team to help provide any additional context you need.