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What is an Incubator programme and why is the Launch22 one different?

Tom Previte, Head of Operations at Launch22 describes their structured incubator programme aimed at developing entrepreneurs’ skills rather than just growth of the business.

28 August 2018

The entrepreneurial scene has boomed in London and the UK over the last 5–10 years. The rise of areas like Silicon roundabout have spearheaded this growth. 4,541 digital and tech startups were founded in London last year alone, giving rise to businesses and incubators whose aim it is to support those startups.

What is an Incubator?

Now, a typical incubator programme takes businesses at a relatively early stage, provides them with a structured, time-bound programme where they hit targets such as customer traction and fundraising, all in return for an equity stake in the business. Accelerators do similar things with later stage startups, in order to accelerate their growth. You might think that Launch22’s incubator is the same as the rest… And I would say to you… No! Why? I thought you’d never ask!

How is the Launch22 incubator different?

As a charity, we focus on supporting people from all walks of life. With that in mind, each entrepreneur on our programme has faced or is facing some form of barrier to work. We aim to give an opportunity which otherwise may not have been there before for these aspiring entrepreneurs. Launch22’s structured programme is aimed at developing the entrepreneurs’ skills rather than just growth of the business. As well as unlimited access to fantastic mentors, entrepreneurs get 6 months free use of to Launch22’s office in Kings Cross, all for free and with absolutely no equity taken.

The Launch22 workspace in King’s Cross


Building businesses, confidence and entrepreneurial skills

Our last programme just finished. We took 7, driven entrepreneurs through a 12-week programme. We worked with everything from beauty subscription boxes, to health juices to an app for parents with new born babies… eclectic mixture right?

The 7 entrepreneurs pitching their businesses at Demo day

The 12 week programme saw each new entrepreneur getting to grips with startup jargon like MVP and Pivot and stepping outside their comfort zone in more ways than one. All this hard work culminated in our Demo Day where each entrepreneur got the chance to be up on stage in front of 80+ mentors, entrepreneurs and investors to share what they had been working on over the past 12 weeks: the customers they had gained, lessons they’d learned and what their plans were to grow their businesses.

A full list of our fantastic alumni can be found here. All our entrepreneurs have since continued to run and grow their businesses out of our hub in King’s Cross.

The alumni and Launch22 team celebrating the end of the programme

What’s next for the programme?

Now your next question might be, “This project sounds great, but how can Launch22 afford this support?” Well, Launch22 has a model whereby we rent out office space to startups in London and the revenues generated go towards supporting these programmes.

Up until now, we have managed this on a small budget. However, we are looking to grow this programme and the support we offer to more entrepreneurs that need it.

By 2020, we want to…

  • Help 50 people start their dream business
  • Launch this unique programme in multiple locations
  • Create a thriving support network of alumni and members

We are on the lookout for partners to help us build on the already hugely successful programme, and secure funding the future programmes.

Whether you are looking to start your business but feel you need that extra guidance and direction, or think you can work with us to support our programme…please do get in touch and grab us for one of our famous Flat Whites in our hub in King’s Cross! Otherwise known as “the coolest hub in London…” Our members words not ours!

Catch22 partnered with Launch22 in 2015 with the aim of supporting people who face barriers to starting a business. Launch22 now support entrepreneurs out of their hubs in King’s Cross and Liverpool and work closely with criminal justice charity Only Connect.

More information

  • Contact Tom Previte, Head of Operations at Launch22 – 
  • Learn more about the Launch22 incubator programme or follow Launch22 on Twitter
  • Follow Catch22 on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook