Building, testing, and launching a physical product takes a great deal of time and complexity – not to mention the difficult journey of starting a company from scratch. The stakes are high, and mistakes can be costly. But, the solutions uncovered in this process play a vital role in solving major challenges and improving our world.
Here at Central Research Laboratory, we work to develop and deliver programmes that respond to the key issues startups face. In the hardware space, the physical product itself can be a challenge. Our internationally-recognised 6-month CRL Accelerator programme helps hardware entrepreneurs succeed in bringing the right product to market in the right way.
Since opening in 2015, the Central Research Laboratory has helped more than 200 startups build everything from the next generation of modular battery technology for sustainable energy storage; toys that help children suffering from chronic eczema; to new sustainable building materials made from potato waste, and autonomous asparagus harvesting robots created to combat the agricultural labour shortage.
Explore what the latest cohort has gone on to achieve with a look at our Demo Day 2021 showcase.
What Our Alumni Have To Say
“When they say the word “accelerator”, it is literally accelerated learning to the max. I learnt a lot more in my time on the accelerator than in my three years at university. You’re learning marketing, legal, product development, etc. Having access to experts has been invaluable!”
Liam Murphy, Co-Founder of Stix Mindfulness, Cohort 7, 2021
“CRL transformed our startup from a university project to an award-winning business. We were a group of engineers. We had no idea what we were doing when it came to running a business.”
Carlton Cummins, CTO & Co-Founder at Aceleron, Cohort 2, 2016
“CRL has contributed to our journey in many ways. Access to network, manufacturing, procurement services, workshop facilities. CRL enables us to feel like a slightly bigger company than we would otherwise be if left to our own devices. Being here at CRL as a cohort member, makes it feel a lot more real and plugged in into the ecosystem.”
Florian Richter, Co-Founder & CEO at Muddy Machines, Cohort 8, 2021
“After the CRL Accelerator programme, we went on to expand the business into the US, and got investment from the US (Silicon Valley) and UK channels spread across Venture Capital, Accelerator and Angel investment routes, as well as being awarded additional non-dilutive funding through government-led programmes.”
Matt Hogbin, Co-Founder at Plexus, Cohort 1, 2015
What is the CRL Accelerator?
The CRL Accelerator programme runs from June to December at the Central Research Laboratory in West London. Six startups receive 24/7 access to a dedicated workspace and our prototyping workshop for the entirety of the programme and become part of our brilliant community of startups and scaleups that are based at the Central Research Laboratory.
The programme, partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund, provides makers with hands-on support focused on product and business development, investor readiness, and preparing for manufacture from a team of industry experts and mentors. Our in-house product development team plays a vital role in supporting startups in their product development, design and design for manufacturing matters. Startups on the CRL Accelerator also benefit from a £5,000 grant towards product development costs.
By the end of the programme you will have:
– Made significant progress on your product development, design and design for manufacture.
– Developed a solid and demonstrable understanding of your customers, market, social and environmental impact, business model and funding strategy.
– Built a clearer understanding of how to approach the manufacture of your product, and developed a network of potential manufacturers in the UK and China.
– Developed the confidence and skills to talk about your product to different audiences, including investors, potential partners, customers, technical experts and lay audiences.
– Acquired the soft skills necessary to successfully run a business, including resilience, negotiation, managing teams and leveraging your network.
– Created a professionally produced video pitch for your business.
– Presented your product to a network peers, partners, business experts, product developers, designers and investors.
– Be part of a vibrant community of CRL Accelerator alumni and current members, who will forever cheer you on and support you and your company!