Applications for Cohort 4 are now closed. We will be opening applications for Cohort 5 in September 2022.Click here to applyApply Now

Cohort 4 Key Dates

10 February

Information Webinar

6 March

Application Deadline

15 March

Shortlist Selection

22 March

Technical Due Diligence

29 March

Commercial Due Diligence

31 March

Cohort Selection

20 April

Welcome Week

What's included?

Coaching and Mentoring

Including pitch coaching, business support and VC support

Solution Showcase

Exclusive HS2 & wider industry showcase events, including Demo Day

Investment Readiness

Tailored investment readiness programme, with support from investment coaches

Growth Focus

4 months tailored business support, including group workshops and 1-to-1s

Funding Advice

Bid writing support and exploration of collaborative R&D opportunities

Technical Support

Technical support from Connected Places Catapult and bespoke mentoring

Office Space

Working collaboratively with HS2 and the cohort at the Innovation Birmingham Campus

Business Development

Business development opportunities and introduction to potential customers

Accelerator Goals

  • Provide bespoke business mentoring to 5 disruptive SMEs
  • Accelerate investment readiness and develop investment strategies
  • Spark new relationships with the supply chain and wider industry
  • Cultivate collaboration between the programme partners and SMEs
  • Provide bespoke technical support to develop business & technology
  • Validate value propositions to support the development of pilot projects
  • Foster commercial opportunities with the supply chain and wider industry
  • Unlock innovative use cases and drive market potential

    Challenge 1: Supply Chain Management

    The HS2 operation involves a complex supply chain, consisting of a wide range of suppliers ranging from large multi-nationals to SMEs. Curation, oversight, and effective management of the supply chain are key to ensure effective delivery of the programme. 

    How can we utilise data or digital technologies to improve our supply chain engagement and management, including:

    1. Contract management
    2. Collaboration and visibility of operations across the supply chain
    3. Visibility of supply chain activities
    4. Opening the HS2 supply chain to the market

    Challenge 2: Decision Making

    HS2 is Europe’s largest infrastructure programme and this brings significant challenges around the programme scale, complexity of interfaces and the management of a large quantities of data. 

    How can we use data or digital technologies to identify, mitigate and manage the risk of decision waste within the HS2 project, including:

    1. Forecasting & future proofing
    2. Visibility, insights & management
    3. Data-based decision making

    Challenge 3 - Information Exchange & Data Insights

    HS2 generates terabytes of project data over the course of just a week. Much of this is unstructured, siloed and resides within a large and complex supply chain. Currently, this data is not centralised, classified or mined for insights and intelligence that could help drive more predictive and data-led operations. 

    How can we use data or digital technologies to drive more predictive and data-led operations, including:

    1. Developing HS2’s data sandpit
    2. Data management & security
    3. Data cleansing & integration
    4. Driving insight & value from data

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1.      What are the eligibility requirements for this programme?

    The ability to deliver us value and impact by solving our challenges is what matters to us most, but we do have some basic eligibility benchmarks.
    • You must be based in the UK (either headquartered or an office/team based in the UK). We can consider international applicants if there is a strong challenge fit and commitment to work with Department for International Trade to set up an entity in the UK.
    • You must be either a micro, small or medium-sized business - preferably with under 75 employees and under £10 million annual revenue.
    • You must be either unfunded or early-stage funded (Pre-seed, Seed, Series A).
    • Your technology must have been tested, piloted or deployed in a 'real world' environment.

      2.      What is your selection process?

      After assessing all the applications, we consolidate a shortlist of 15 - 20 applicants. Applications are anonymised during shortlisting to prevent unconscious bias as upholding equal opportunities is extremely important to us. The shortlisted applicants will be invited for a short interview with our Technical Due Diligence panel and our Commercial Due Diligence panel. All feedback and scores will be consolidated to select the successful 5 companies to join the cohort.

      3.      How much time commitment is needed from me on this programme?

      You will be enrolled onto the programme for 4 months. The estimated time commitment is 0.2 FTE as we try to ensure that all engagements and meetings with HS2 and prospective customers from the supply chain take place within one day per week. Any bespoke 1-to-1 coaching that you choose to take on will also be included within this time.


      If you have any questions about the programme, please reach out to the Accelerator Team below.

      Jasmine Pollock

      HS2 Programme Manager
      Connected Places Catapult

      Ellie Gyaurova

      Programmes Leader
      Connected Places Catapult


      Latest Events

      Make sure to sign up to our latest events to receive more information and support when applying for our upcoming programmes.