Welcome to the Tech Startup Sunderland Incubator

Tech Startup Sunderland is excited to launch the Tech Startup Sunderland Incubator, a programme to support you in developing your tech business idea. The structured programme of support takes place on Tuesday over 5 weeks, starting on 2 August 2022.  

Led by Mark Gardner, the team’s Startup and Growth Manager, you’ll develop all the skills needed to successfully register and run your tech startup, covering topics such as marketing, business finances, navigating the legal side to your business, and developing your product.  In addition to this, the programme will be supported by Katie Mitchell, our Community Hub Manager, who will deliver sessions to support your personal development, including time management, avoiding burnout, and developing confidence in yourself and your product.  
Register with the programme

The schedule of the programme is below: 

Week 1 (Tues Aug 2)

Getting started – What’s the product?

This session will support you to develop a strong business plan, look at different business models, give an overview of funding and finances and take you through what’s needed to register your business.

Week 2 (Tues Aug 9)

Making the big decisions: Legals, Contracts and Hiring

We’ll run attendees through the skills needed to understand how your idea will work as a profitable business, including what considerations and decisions need to be made to develop your tech idea, promote your business and grow your potential.

Week 3 (Tues Aug 16)

This week, we’ll tackle how to promote your product smartly and discuss how to market yourself and your business effectively. Topics will include tone of voice, effective websites, conversion and analytics.

Week 4 (Tues Aug 23)

Keeping yourself sane

Starting a business isn’t easy so we’ll coach you through avoiding burnout, managing your time effectively, and building confidence in yourself and your business.

Week 5 (Tues Aug 30)

Open week

This week, we’ll go through your business to get it registered, and cover any lingering questions you may have.  This could be determined by the group, or taken forward in 121s with the session leaders.

Frequently asked questions

How is it delivered?

The Incubator will be delivered in person at Sunderland Software City in Sunderland City Centre. If you have accessibility concerns, please pop the details in the application form, or get in touch with Community Hub Manager Katie Mitchell (katie.mitchell@sunderlandsoftwarecity.com) who can chat through the format of delivery to ensure you’re able to participate fully.

How is this different from other Incubators?

We’re very aware that developing a business isn’t a linear process – everyone will have a different starting point and will have different learning curves.  The Tech Startup Sunderland Incubator  incorporates a person-centred approach with time dedicated to structured learning, facilitated co-working, and office hours for 121 support.  The programme is designed to develop your skills set, mind set and take you to the next step.

How do I apply?

Our application form can be found hereIf you have questions about the programme in advance of the programme though, please get in touch with the programme lead, Mark Gardner.

What is involved?

Tuesday mornings, we’ll be running structured learning sessions.  These will be delivered in person and attendance is required in order to gain the full support provided by the programme. Tuesday afternoons will be dedicated to facilitated co-working, developing your idea further and working through any of the assigned learning that came out of the morning session.  Thursdays will be available for office hours, or 121 support with programme leader Mark Gardner, or Community Hub Manager Katie Mitchell.

What do I get out of attending?

On completion of the incubator programme, you’ll have developed the skills needed to run your business, have registered with our programme for ongoing support, and will be a part of a peer network of founders.  In addition to this, each week will come with it’s own set of resources to support you in your start-up journey.

What happens next?

After completion of the incubator, we’ll continue to offer 121 support through the Tech Startup Sunderland programme.  Unlike other business support programmes, we aren’t confined to a certain number of hours of support.  Once your business is registered in the final week of the incubator (and we’ve had some celebratory cake, of course), we’ll support you to make sure your business develops and heads in the direction you’d like it.

I have a question you haven’t answered – who do I contact?

Still not sure if this is the right programme for you?  Unclear if this is the right support to take you from A to B? If you’d like to have a chat about the incubator further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.  You can book an informal chat with Mark, the programme lead, here , or alternately email Mark, our programme lead at mark.gardner@sunderlandsoftwarecity.com.