Careers and Employability Centre

StartUp Sussex workshops

Find out about the workshops run as part of the StartUp Sussex competition.

Autumn term: workshops

In phase one of the programme, fortnightly two-hour workshops provide you with the tools to identify a model that works, before you embark on writing a business plan to grow your enterprise in phase two and present for a competition prize.

These workshops are open only to those on the StartUp Sussex competition programme and are run by consultants from the Sussex Innovation Centre.


1. Creativity and the value proposition

This workshop gives you the tools to start examining the ideas you may have already and their potential as an opportunity.

It also provides you with approaches to help you create new ideas. All the workshops involve working closely in groups and learning from your peers, so be ready for some practical exercises and loads of discussion and sharing.

2. Idea or opportunity

Take part in exercises to develop your ideas, and determine for yourself if you have a business opportunity, starting with the problem you are trying to fix and how your solution works best.

Workshops 2-5 are followed each week by a follow-up session on a Tuesday at 5pm. The idea is that you come back to facilitated group sessions and share experiences as you all build your knowledge. Share tips and advice, as well as discussing potential problem areas that you have encountered. Key networking and communication skills are honed in the discussions.

3. Testing your idea

Learn how to uncover valuable customer insight through research and use it to develop your model to capture value, while gaining an understanding of what your customers want and what it will take to bring the idea to market.

4. Finance and operations

Work on the finer details required to make a sustainable business case – what resources might you need to get started, and ultimately, is it worth it?

5. Presenting your model

Putting the pieces together to show a compelling, sustainable model for your enterprise. Prepare to compete for places in the second phase of the programme.

Spring term: business plan and competition

Phase two of the scheme begins in the spring term. This is a competition based upon the creation of a business plan and a presentation to a funding panel.

The six candidates with the best business models, as selected by the StartUp Sussex judges, will return for further workshops and one-to-one support, with the aim of shaping a business plan from their model, and pitching to a panel of entrepreneurs, business advisors and investors.

In March, the top three enterprises, as selected by the panel, win a StartUp Sussex Award worth up to £10,000 to help develop their business, with the ultimate goal of generating enough income to pay a salary within a year.

The winners are announced at the annual StartUp Sussex awards ceremony in March.