Our Immersion Programme enables public sector organisations to adopt challenge-based models of procurement and to co-develop innovative solutions to key problems alongside start-ups. Immersion allows public sector organisations to acquire customised tools to their unique problems and start-ups to provide products that are easily adapted and scaled for customers.
Each Immersive Challenge is issued as an Invitation to Tender (ITT) making the procurement process as light as possible. And although each challenge includes specific objectives that must be achieved, it is phrased as an interesting question to be solved rather than requesting a specific solution.
Immersive Challenges are open to early stage companies with an innovative Minimum Viable Proposition that can be tested and developed in response to the challenge. Typically, these will be teams eligible for the Advance element of Exeter Velocities.
Applicants who successfully respond to the challenge with their MVP will win entry to a targeted three-month immersive programme hosted by Exeter Velocities in collaboration with the specific sponsoring organisation.
During ‘immersion’ teams benefit from specialist knowledge and advice from the sponsor, spending time inside the organisation with buyers, users and technical specialists. Additionally, teams have access to our City Space, training, mentoring and networking opportunities.
There is no specific financial support for teams who are responding to Immersive Challenges. However, if it’s beneficial for the development of the solution, the Sponsor can, at their discretion, decide to offer financial support to the teams to develop the product/solution.
Immersion culminates in a customer-focused Demo Day. If solutions prove successful, the sponsoring organisation has the option to purchase or otherwise invest in any (or all) of the approaches developed. Alternatively, they can choose to offer a single procurement contract as a prize for the best solution.
If you are interested in sponsoring or responding to an Immersive Challenge, please get in touch.