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Innovation Assessment

Access a free assessment of commercial readiness and other specialist consultancy – from qualified business analysts and sector specialists.

Innovation Assessment support is available to potential spin-out companies and other commercialisation prospects from any of our partner universities. Support can be provided before or after a company spins out.

There are three options available.

Option 1
A detailed assessment of commercial readiness, highlighting priorities for future development and supporting development of a commercialisation action plan.

Option 2
Detailed assessment plus additional consultancy.

Option 3
Specific consultancy with a bespoke brief.

Innovation Assessment support is delivered by business solutions provider UMi. Their qualified business analysts and relevant sector and innovation specialists will work closely with academic founders and business executives, alongside the relevant university’s technology transfer team.

Innovation Assessments are automatically offered to companies recruiting a CEO via our Executives into Business programme. Any academic from a Northern Accelerator university can also request Innovation Assessment support by speaking to their technology transfer team.

The team, including expert associates, that we’ve put together for this opportunity has unrivalled experience in business analysis, university spin-outs, technology commercialisation, venture capital and business growth strategies.

Simon Allen | Product and Investor Director, UMi

If your proposition has received approval for our Executives into Business programme it will automatically be considered for an Innovation Assessment.

If you’re not engaging with Executives into Business, your technology transfer representative can help you apply for Innovation Assessment support, so please contact them directly in the first instance.

Innovation Assessment is a multistage business diagnostic process involving detailed assessment of a range of elements (summarised below). The diagnostic process leads to the production of a detailed report and associated action plan.

  • Finance & Funding
  • Technology & Product
  • IP Legal & Regulatory
  • Scale Up Strategy
  • Operations, Production & Logistics
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • People, Advisory & Governance
  • Strategy

Innovation Assessments are delivered by business solutions provider UMi.

UMi will typically work with the academic lead, Technology Transfer lead and (if in post) the executive appointed to support the spin-out, however the teams from partner universities will say who they want to be involved.

If your innovation assessment support includes the detailed business diagnostic assessment, the process is as follows:

  • Stage 1 : A preparatory review of work already done on business readiness, including a discussion with the technology transfer lead, review of the referred information pack, background research and gap analysis, and consideration of any prior discussions with investors.
  • Stage 2 : The diagnostic assessment
    • Stage 2a : Initial general business assessment by a business analyst
      An initial meeting or telephone-based discussion with those involved. This will be structured around a diagnostic workflow designed to identify areas for more detailed or specialist assessment and to initiate preparation of a draft report and action plan.
    • Stage 2b : In-depth assessment by a sector specialist
      The specialist will review the draft report and action plan, undertake further research and hold discussions to follow up on specific areas highlighted by the initial assessment. This stage will provide greater focus on investment readiness, a sectoral perspective on each diagnostic element and a specialist intellectual property review.
  • Stage 3 : Delivery of the assessment report and action plan and agreement of any additional support to be provided, which may include investment panel support or later follow-up to review actions.

A detailed assessment report and action plan will be provided to the academic and technology transfer leads, as well as the executive (if in place). A copy will be supplied to the Northern Accelerator Project Manager. The Northern Accelerator Project Manager will review the report against the information pack provided on referral to ensure that the service has provided additional value. A service evaluation questionnaire must also be completed.

There is the opportunity to access business consultancy support in addition to the business diagnostic assessment (option 2), or as a standalone piece of work (option 3).  This includes more detailed/directed pieces of consultancy work including, but not limited to:

• Market assessment
• Primary customer analysis
• Business model
• Sales strategy
• Management strategy
• Financing strategy

Proposals for support in other areas that fit broadly with the scope and intentions of Northern Accelerator Innovation Assessment are welcome. Please discuss this with your institution’s Northern Accelerator lead at an early stage.

Innovation Assessment will provide information of value in the preparation of a business plan, but will not fund the writing of a business plan for a spin-out.

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