The FuseBox24 programme provides 24 weeks of radical start-up support for committed innovators. Commencing 28 April 2014, it offers 24/7 access to The FuseBox, a new space in Brighton for learning and growing creative and digital start-up businesses. It also provides access to knowledge, skills and expertise from thought leaders and practitioners from the arts, technology and business worlds.
For Innovators: FuseBox24 is for anyone with the ambition and commitment to establish and grow a creative or digital business. Both individuals and small teams of innovators are welcome to apply.
Programme Content: Led by Wired Sussex in collaboration with thought leaders and practitioners from the arts, technology and business worlds, FuseBox24 will deliver knowledge sharing workshops, coaching and mentoring as well as individual and group development sessions. This support is combined with time for you to develop and iterate your start-up business idea using the space and facilities at the FuseBox.
Outcomes: Innovators will gain the confidence, courage and connections required to make establishing a business in the creative and digital sector a reality in 2014. New knowledge, skills and relationships will give you the resilience to succeed. We’ll provide the doors, it’s up to you to open them.
Programme Fee: It’s £960, that’s just £40 a week. We’re able to provide FuseBox24 at such a low cost because of the generosity in time and spirit of those who help us deliver the programme. The £40 is a contribution towards tea and coffee, electricity, Wi-fi, speaker expenses and other costs. The FuseBox itself has secured support from the EU’s Recreate programme and we’re also supported by the AHRC, enabling us to fund a Researcher-in-Residence who is actively engaged designing, delivering and evaluating the programme.
Applicant Requirements: You’ll need to bring a lot of commitment and energy and be prepared for deep personal and professional challenges, whilst having a lot of fun. We expect you to be fully immersed in all of the programme’s activities over the 24 weeks whilst working really hard on your business idea the remainder of the time. You’ll need to be open to new ideas and ways of seeing and doing, have a willingness to collaborate with the other innovators on the programme and a real spirit of adventure.
Applying to Join FuseBox24: Applications for 2014 entry are now closed. You can register here for updates about the programme.
If you have any questions check out the FAQs below or for an informal chat contact Rebecca@wiredsussex.com or you can call her on 01273 692888.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who’s behind FuseBox24 and why?
Wired Sussex manages and delivers the programme. We are an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation supporting digital, media and tech businesses in Sussex. Our aim with FuseBox24 is to provide an arts and technology inspired programme to support our mission to grow the innovation capability and resilience of the creative and digital sector. Our approach has been heavily influenced by the Brighton Fuse research project (of which we were a part) and builds on our successful FuseBoxAmp pilot run in summer 2013.
What is different about this start-up programme?
It is based on a belief that if start-ups share knowledge and needs with each other they are more likely to succeed, that practitioners who have ‘been there and done it’ are the best learning resource and that all good start-ups require healthy challenges to make the ideas robust and the innovators resilient. We also integrate into the programme a lot of learnings from the arts. This doesn’t mean that we teach you to draw (unless your business idea requires that!), but that we want to help people create businesses that are creative, passionate and personal and that is what the best approaches and practices from the arts also look to do. You may want to check out this interview with Seth Godin to learn more.
What’s an innovator?
We define innovators as individuals or small teams driven by the goal of creating new start-up businesses that disrupt existing markets and transform communities.
What’s a start-up?
We are focused on the creative, digital and IT sector and we know from experience that definitions of ‘start-ups’ in these sectors that are too prescriptive are unhelpful. However, we believe this programme is best suited to a range stretching from those who have a business idea but haven’t put it into practice yet, to those who have a new business that has been trading for a year or less. If you fall outside of this range, then feel free to discuss with us whether the programme might still be right for you.
Are your programme activities mandatory?
Yes. The programme is designed to take you and your fellow FuseBox24 innovators on a journey. We make sure that we provide you with access to individuals who can give you the inspiration, the practical knowledge and the resources to learn personally and collectively, and for you to really benefit from the programme, you need to attend at least 80% of these programmed activities. These activities will average around two days a week.
Can I work freelance in the FuseBox to support myself?
Yes that’s fine, as long as you convince us that you’re going to give your business idea and the other innovators your commitment over the 24 weeks. The FuseBoxAmp pilot taught us that some flexibility is required to support innovators with families for example.
Do I have to pay the programme fee upfront?
If you can great, if you prefer to pay £160 every four weeks in advance, that’s fine with us.
Does the programme fee include VAT?
Yes it does.
Are there any grants or bursaries available?
Not specifically for this programme. The UK government provides a start-up loans scheme open to over 18s. You will also learn about sources of finance to grow your business on the programme.
Still got questions? Email Rebecca@wiredsussex.com or call her on 01273 692888 for an informal chat or as applications for 2014 entry are now closed, you can register here for updates about the programme.