CRL opens applications for tech startup programme

The west London-based product design incubator wants 12 startups to join its nine-month programme from September.

Kohen Workshop

Central Research Laboratory has opened applications for a new cohort of hardware designers to join its startup incubator programme.

The incubator, based in Hayes, west London is looking for 12 designers, makers or engineers with a product and business idea to enter its nine-month programme from September.

In return for a 6% stake in its company, each startup will receive fully funded access to prototyping labs, 24/7 workspace, a £5000 living costs grant and commercial and product development expertise from staff at the incubator.

CRL will support and guide the startups through each stage of developing their products – including industrial design, user research, raising investment and manufacturing operations.

James Nettleton, Programme Director at CRL says: “Over the last year we’ve worked with a really diverse group of companies, developing products ranging from submarine drones to robotic gloves, digital drawing systems and modular walking aids.”

Testing a walking aid during last year's startup programme
Testing a walking aid during last year’s startup programme

“Through the programme, each of the companies have evolved in their own unique way. Some have actually redefined their product offer, others have determined completely new audiences, routes to market, manufacturing processes and business models. Our job at the CRL is to facilitate the startup’s journey by providing the tools, knowledge and industry experience to give them the best chance to scale.”

The design incubator, whose stakeholders include property company U+I, Brunel University London and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, has historic links with technological product development. Until 2011 the Hayes site was home to music company EMI, where scientists and inventors developed technologies including stereo sound, radar and the CAT scanner.

CRL’s online application process for the startup programme involves submitting product details and making a case for its development.

Shortlisted applicants will then be sent a link to a fuller application form and full details of the next stage pitch process. Applications will close as soon as the programme reaches capacity.

Anyone interested should apply here or contact for more information.

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