Enterprise, innovation and growth

Telephone us: 0800 052 5600. Lines are open 9:00–17:00 Monday to Thursday and 9:00–16:30 Friday.  

Accelerate your business idea or start up business with award-winning dedicated support and expert advice. If you’re a growing business, we've got the facilities, equipment, knowledge and talent to help you innovate and accelerate.

Creating business ideas

Formation Zone – Formation Zone is perfect if you have a business idea you’d like to start and develop in a supportive and collaborative environment.

Funding and knowledge for business innovation

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) – are University managed programmes and part funded by Government. KTP's offer a partnership between your business, an academic institution and a recently qualified graduate. The graduate will work jointly supervised within your business on a specific innovative project and bring in new capabilities to your team.

Formation Zone & Santander Student and Graduate Business Support

Santander Springboard Awards

To assist the university community during the current economic situation, Santander Universities UK has invested an additional £25,000 into the University of Plymouth. This grant of approximately £800 is aimed at helping University of Plymouth students and graduates of 2018 and 2019 (including those undertaking or awarded a University of Plymouth degree from a partner college) who have a trading business or a new business on the cusp of trading with a solid business plan and customer pipeline to overcome barriers to the growth of their business.

Investments will be made which would

  • Increase production
  • Increase sales
  • Increase market awareness
  • Accelerate a prototype to market.

If you feel that your business could benefit from this grant, please email formationzone@plymouth.ac.uk for more information.

There are monthly opportunities for students and graduates to access a variety of business start-up support all in one place.

  • 1:1 with Santander Representative
  • Coaching and mentoring opportunities
  • Support to access Santander funding
  • Collaboration opportunities
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Workshops
  • Masterclasses
  • 1:1 with Business Advisor
  • 1:1 with IP Expert
  • 1:1 with Solicitor
  • 1:1 with Accountant.


2nd Floor, Marine Building, from 10.00–16.30.

  • 12 February 2020
  • 11 March 2020
  • 8 April 2020
  • 6 May 2020
  • 3 June 2020
  • 1 July 2020.

To find out more email formationzone@plymouth.ac.uk

Formation Zone & Santander Ideation Awards

A rolling programme of Ideation Awards throughout the academic year to support early-stage entrepreneurs.

Ideation Awards of £100–£200 are available to students and recent graduates and can be used for services such as:

  • Registering a trademark/copyright
  • Registering a limited company
  • Setting up a website
  • Attending events/workshops
  • Solicitor costs
  • Accountant costs
  • 1:1 consultancy
  • Marketing materials
  • Pre-start incubation support
  • General start up business expenditure
To request an application form email formationzone@plymouth.ac.uk

Formation Zone & Santander Acceleration Awards

Quarterly competitive awards to accelerate the growth of early-stage businesses looking to start/scale.

Three competitions – December 2019/March 2020/June 2020. Applications close 30 November/29 February/31 May.

Awards of approximately £1,250 are available to students and recent graduates and can be used for services such as:

  • Build of website
  • 1:1 high value consultancy
  • Accounting systems
  • Quality management systems
  • New technology to add value
  • Prototyping/3D printing/product development/R&D
  • Office space
  • Marketing/sales strategy
  • Business support services to maximise growth.

To request an application form email formationzone@plymouth.ac.uk

Additional support for social enterprises

Helping you understand the value of social enterprise for social and economic benefit. Share in local, national and international expertise and knowledge, and access best practice and research in social enterprise.

Plymouth is the first University in the world to be recognised as a social enterprise.

Real business experience

"The support we have received in the Formation Zone has allowed us to focus more attention on developing our own unique IP and divert some time and resource to exploring new projects and ideas. They have been able to accommodate our business growth by allowing us to have our own office within Formation Zone. Finding that the University is so keen to support new and developing businesses through its pre-incubation space has been great especially as a start-up business it can often be difficult to find and qualify for assistance." 

Alex Riley, Mutant Labs

Find out more about our work with real businesses.

Contact Enterprise Solutions

Lines are open 9:00–17:00 Monday to Thursday 9:00–16:30 Friday