Banbury, UK, 25 MAY 2021: Applications are now open for the 2021 Rapid Challenge. The event organised by Prodrive Ventures, the investment arm of British motorsport and advanced engineering business Prodrive, seeks to identify, reward and help bring the best and most innovative British based hardware start-ups to market.
While each year there is a prize fund for the winner, all projects which match the entry criteria benefit from a range of dedicated workshops from the Challenge’s partners which offer valuable advice and insight to help build a business plan for their projects. These plans are reviewed by an expert panel of judges with a range of backgrounds before five successful submissions go forward to the interview stage, with three reaching the final at Prodrive’s headquarters in Banbury in November. Here they present their projects to an invited audience and the winner is announced.
For this year, there is a prize package worth £75,000, which includes cash and a range of services from The RAPID Challenge partners: RPD International, TBAT Innovation, HBSC, EY, Crowdcube, Bridgehead Agency, OnePLM, The IP Asset Partnership and Develop3D.
David Cullimore, head of innovation at Prodrive, said: “We came up with the idea of the Rapid Challenge in 2018, as while there were lots of competitions and investment opportunities for technology start-ups, none were focussed on only those producing hardware, something physical and tangible, rather than web or tech based. Britain is a hub of engineering and design creativity and it struck a chord with many entrepreneurs out there struggling to get the support and recognition they needed and deserved.”
Previous winners of the Rapid Challenge are diverse and include EAV (Electric Assisted Vehicles), which has created novel pedal assisted last mile delivery vehicles; and last year’s winner, Cosi Care whose aim is to transform the lives of children suffering from eczema.
The Rapid Challenge is about nurturing British-based talent and all entrants must meet the following criteria:
Be a disruptive hardware project
Have a sustainable business strategy
Pre-revenue or up to £1M annual revenue
No more than 10 employees
Be based in the UK
Applications are now open and will close on 30 July 2021.
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About Prodrive Ventures
Prodrive Ventures is part of the wider Prodrive Group based in Banbury, UK, one of the world’s largest and most successful motorsport and technology businesses with over 500 staff employed across its Banbury headquarters and composites manufacturing facility in Milton Keynes. Perhaps best known for motorsport, today it has diversified to become a technology business working in a range of sectors and providing a range of services.
Prodrive Ventures’ remit is to seek out design-led, technological, innovative, and disruptive propositions from any sector, drawing on the Group’s experience in engineering, manufacturing, materials, finance, and marketing to help develop its partners’ future long term business success. It’s biggest success to date has been the design, development, and successful launch of Hummingbird - the world’s lightest folding bike.