SPARK School is open for applications for second cohort

SPARK School, a free training programme from Bristol’s tech community leaders TechSPARK, Engine Shed and SETsquared Bristol, has been made possible thanks to a grant from NatWest’s Skills and Opportunities Fund.

The four organisations are collaborating to bring together a comprehensive course programme for underrepresented people looking to start a business. The course will take members from initial idea stage, through planning and finance management and pitching.

The course will run from the end of January to mid-March 2020 and take place over evenings and weekends. Applications are open now until 11 January.

Applicants should come from underrepresented backgrounds and have a tech-enabled and scalable business idea. Backgrounds underrepresented in tech include BAME people, Trans & non-male genders, working-class people and LGBTQIA+.

The programme will take students through a full course in creating a business:

  • What makes a good business idea?
  • Market Research, selection and positioning
  • Business Models and Strategy
  • Marketing, promotion & branding a go-to-market strategy
  • Product Development & IP Protection
  • Business Finances
  • Raising Funds & Funding Strategies
  • Selling a Business
  • Pitching and Presentation Skills
  • Pulling it all together- The Pitch

Applications are open now and will close on 11 January.

Course leader and serially successful Entrepreneur Rick Chapman said “I am constantly surprised by the innovative new businesses here in Bristol and Bath. I’m looking forward to helping a new generation of exciting businesses and business leaders take their first steps.”

SPARK School Graduate Joyann Boyce said: “Very few courses offer the opportunity to interact with your tutor to the extent that SPARK School does. The course gave me a well-rounded understanding of what’s required to create, start and develop a tech idea and company. During the 10 weeks I was able to take my idea from very early stage to building a pitch deck.

I’m excited for what the future holds, and I’m appreciative to the TechSPARK team, the SPARK School team and our teacher.”

Anyone interested should apply here.

For more information and course detail visit the FAQ Page here.

All other enquiries can be made to