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HomeCall for ApplicationsDigital Catapult Black Founders Programme 2024 for creative startups.

Digital Catapult Black Founders Programme 2024 for creative startups.

Application Deadline: 7th July 2024.

Applications are now open for the 2024 Digital Catapult Black Founders Programme. The Black Founders Programme is a 13-week accelerator targeted at high-growth potential pre-seed or seed-stage companies creating innovative products and services in the Creative industries. Sony Music UK and Sony Music Publishing UK are the Programme Partners for this programme.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for the programme, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • UK based pre-seed and seed stage companies in the creative deep tech sector
  • Applicants looking to raise investment in the next 12 months
  • Applicants must have at least one founder that self-identifies as Black or multiracial with Black heritage
  • Are currently working within the creative space (for example music, arts, gaming and advertising)
  • Applicants must be eligible to receive £20,000 in State Assistance (De Minimis Aid)

To be considered, Digital Catapult supports companies using advanced digital technologies including:

  • Future networks and advanced digital infrastructure (internet of things including low powered wide area networks, NB-IoT, LIFI etc. and includes sensors, edge devices, wearables etc.)
  • Immersive technologies – extended reality (virtual, augmented, mixed reality and haptics)
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning (natural language processing, machine vision, deep learning)
  • Distributed ledger technologies (blockchain etc.)
  • Quantum


Across the programme, a range of sessions and events are provided to support participants in scaling their commercial, operational and technical activity.

These include:

  • Diagnostic Sessions – 1:1 sessions with experts and mentors to determine your current business and investment needs.
  • Investment guidance – Business and investment support, based on the findings of your diagnostic sessions, including sessions with experienced investors.
  • No fees or equity required – Applying to and participating in the programme is free, and Digital Catapult does not ask for equity in return for support.
  • Potential for funding opportunities – Successful completion of the Black Founders programme can open the door to potential funding opportunities as part of our FutureScope alumni community.
  • Peer Support – Build relationships, share insights, and collaborate on projects with other non competing entrepreneurs through group coaching sessions and networking events.
  • Masterclasses & mentoring from experts in the Creative industries – Learn from Sony Music UK and Sony Music Publishing UK and other creative specialists and build your network. Develop and improve business planning, commercial strategy, pricing and positioning, operational processes and investment readiness.
  • Access to state-of-the-art facilities & deep tech expertise – Visit one or more of our facilities including our immersive labs, SONIC labs and more. Learn how our facilities can support your business upon completion of the programme.
  • A programme final during which the participants will present and network with an invited audience of investors, partners and industry representatives. 
  • The opportunity to join the Digital Catapult alumni network, which keeps them informed of opportunities and relevant updates from the Digital Catapult, and additional opportunities to engage with Digital Catapult and other alumni.


Activities marked with an asterisk (*) are compulsory/non-negotiable where relevant

  1. Open Call – Applications Open – 4 June 2024*
  2. Q&A drop-in session for  Black Founders programme – 7, 14, 21, 27 June
  3. Programme Briefing Event – 17 June 2024
  4. Open Call – Application Deadline – 7 July 2024 at 23:59*
  5. Interviews (one 30 min slot) – 29 – 31 July 2024*
  6. Notification of application status – 1 August 2024
  7. Contracting – 5 August – 15 August 2024*
  8. Programme Start Date – 19 August 2024*
  9. Programme Activities – The majority of programme activities will be held on Thursdays.
    1. Kick Off event – 22 August 2024*
    2. Final programme event – 14 Nov*
  10. Programme End Date – 15 Nov 2024

Dates and activities can be subject to change. Digital Catapult will endeavour to provide as much notice as possible to applicants/participants should any changes arise.

Application Process

  1. Applicants check they meet the programme’s specific requirements.
  2. Applicants fill out their application form through the dedicated platform. Applicants will need to complete the application form by 23:59 on Sunday 7th July 2024.

More Info: Digital Catapult Black Founders Programme



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