Startup accelerator opens to support aspiring entrepreneurs in Northern England & Northern Ireland

The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub has opened a new round of applications for its Regional Talent Engines programme to support entrepreneurial mid-late career engineers with an innovative concept to bring to market.

The Enterprise Hub will grant successful applicants £20,000 equity-free funding for living and business costs to help grow their ideas into startup businesses. In addition to funding, successful applicants will also receive six months’ support to prepare them for commercialising their engineering solutions.

Designed to boost innovation across the UK by helping to grow local ecosystems and create jobs, applicants must be based in either Northern England or Northern Ireland and have experience in engineering or technology, with a concept for an identified market solution. The programme prepares those seeking a career change as an entrepreneur to bring their concept to market, pitch for future investment or join one of the Enterprise Hub’s further programmes to grow their business.

The Regional Talent Engines programme offers a unique package of support as a startup accelerator with:

Equity-free funding

Expert mentoring, training and mentoring from the Royal Academy of Engineering’s diverse network of Fellows and business advisors at its delivery centres in Belfast, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle

Access to co-working and meeting spaces in the Academy’s Taylor Centre in London and at its regional base in the Ormeau Baths, Belfast

Lifetime membership of the Enterprise Hub including access to facilities, training and networking opportunities, and a supportive entrepreneurial community. The Enterprise Hub encourages founders further along in the business cycle to support future Hub Members

Ana Avaliani, Director, Enterprise, at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “With hotspots of engineering across Northern England and Northern Ireland, we want to attract and champion diverse engineering talent in these parts of the UK and support them to develop disruptive, scalable businesses. Our Regional Talent Engines programme aims to support those with experience in engineering or technology, and with a desire to commercialise an innovative concept. With smart and flexible training designed around the needs of our entrepreneurs, access to the unique mentoring capability of the talented engineers and business leaders that make up the Fellowship of the Academy and equity-free financial backing, entrepreneurs can build their confidence and grow successful companies.

“As our Enterprise Hub reaches its tenth anniversary, our long-term aim is to strengthen local entrepreneurial ecosystems by helping to launch successful engineering and technology businesses, creating jobs and economic prosperity across the UK.”

Dr Ruth Brown-Shepherd, Regional Talent Engines graduate from Yorkshire & the Humber and Managing Director of Responsive Learning CIC, said: “Becoming a part of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s network allowed me to build great business connections and benefit from expert coaching. The Regional Talent Engines programme helped me to take the next step in my journey as an entrepreneur.”

Rojin Yarahmadi, Regional Talent Engines graduate from North East England and CEO and Co-Founder of PolyBox Solutions, said: “Developing my business and commercial skills with the support of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s experts was an incredibly valuable experience. I know that the Regional Talent Engines programme will be hugely beneficial for other aspiring entrepreneurs across the North East.”

James Wainwright, Regional Talent Engines graduate from North West England and Founder of Sunflower Solar LTD, said: “The Regional Talent Engines programme has helped me to develop both myself and my business and it has been an incredible six months of learning. As a result of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s programme, I now have a far greater understanding of the business world and the realities of running a company.”

Ryan Donnelly, Regional Talent Engines graduate from Northern Ireland and founder of Enzai Technologies, said: “The Regional Talent Engines programme was an excellent way for me to develop as an entrepreneur. Having access to world class mentors through the Royal Academy of Engineering that provided expert feedback on how to scale my business was an amazing opportunity that I know will hugely benefit other aspiring entrepreneurs from Northern Ireland.”

Applications are open until 6 March 2023 with the programme commencing in spring 2023.

Full details of the programme including guidance notes can be viewed on the Academy’s website.

All applications for each regional programme must be submitted on the online grant system.

Startup Details

Startup Details


Royal Academy of Engineering

Royal Academy of Engineering is the U.K.'s national academy of engineering, providing leadership and promoting all fields of engineering.

  • Headquarters Regions
    United Kingdom
  • Founded Date
  • Founders
  • Operating Status
  • Number of Employees