Frequently Asked Questions
LIFE+ BREAKTHROUGH GRANT
What is Life+ Collective ?
Life+ Collective (Life Plus Collective) is a community for startup founders who want to build products that help people feel good every day. It was originally set up as a supper club for early stage startup founders to get together once a month, network, share and solve problems together. When it became impossible to have in-person gatherings, we switched to taking things online and ran events on everything from startup legals, to product design. Life+ also has an Instagram account to highlight some of the cool products built by founders and, to spotlight community members.
Who runs Life+?
Life+ is run by Savs Tan and Emma Tsuji Harrison. Savs is an investor with Isomer Capital in London, and Emma works as a cultural anthropologist. They have both worked with founders to launch startups in the tech, consumer and food worlds and noticed that many consumer facing companies did not have access to the communities and support that is more widely available to tech founders, their products were overlooked by investors as they were deemed ‘nice, not necessary’ and they sought to change that. If this year in lockdown has taught us anything it is that products which make us feel good, emotionally secure and bring joy into our everyday lives matter more than ever.
What is the Life+ Breakthrough Grant?
The Life+ Breakthrough grant is an equity free amount available for up to 8 companies. Each grant is worth up to £20,000 and is for founders who are building a company/product in the consumer space. We are excited by consumer companies that are creating products and services that bring a sense of joy and fun to their users, or perhaps a feeling of comfort and security. It is an amount available to companies to spend on legitimate business activities that will help founders experiment and further their progress.
What do you mean by ‘consumer companies’?
Consumer companies means any company that sells its products or services directly to individuals, rather than to other companies. We are interested in companies that directly improve people’s lives. If we are being specific about the type of products/services that we love, they are those which help customers feel a sense of emotional stability, a sense of connectedness with people and planet, a sense of relaxation and re-energising, perhaps a feeling of empowerment and also fun!
Some examples we have seen include:
Mental health products and services
Sexual wellness and pleasure
Communities to bring together like-minded people
Food products and experiences
Innovative and sustainable fashion and beauty
Pet care and products for the home
Who is eligible?
Applicants must be 18 years or older and based in the UK. Applicants must be the legal owners of a UK registered and UK based company and legally able to run a UK registered and UK based company. Applicants must not have raised institutional capital (money from venture capital funds) and have raised no more than £200k in any other grant or angel funding.
Applicants must fit into one of the following groups:
a pre-launch business; meaning that you have a business plan and are looking to launch a product/service in the next year;
an early stage business; meaning that you have launched in the past 18 months and are looking to grow you customer base and scale operations
We are actively looking for businesses run by founders of all ethnicities, genders, abilities and experiences.
If I’m not based in the UK, or operating a startup that is not registered in the UK, can I still apply?
Unfortunately, you would not be eligible for the grant on this occasion. However, please do sign up to join the Life+ Collective community. We’d love to have you be part of what we’re building.
Can I apply more than once?
Only one application can be made per business, per cycle of the grant
How much are the grants worth?
The total pool for the grant fund is £145,000.
How many will you award?
We will be awarding a total of £145,000 across a pool of grant recipients, we anticipate awarding between 7-8 grants.
Do I have to pay back the grant?
No! This is an equity free grant. It will be awarded in two tranches to recipients and does not need to be paid back.
Do I get anything besides money?
Yes, alongside money we will be offering 3 months of wraparound support which will include masterclasses on growing and engaging customers, delightful product design, business strategy, hiring and executive coaching
What, what’s the catch? What do you expect from the companies that are awarded the grant?
There is no catch, we want to help startups in their formative stages to have some capital that they are able to put towards growing. We are not looking to invest into the companies. As part of the grant, we are looking to learn about businesses that are operating in a range of consumer fields. A condition of the grant is mandatory checking in with the Life+ team to update us on progress and share how you are spending the money. We will also ask you to create a short report at the end of the grant which details progress you are making. All business information will be kept private and confidential.
Are there requirements for how the businesses need to spend the funds?
The only requirement is that recipients use the grant funding for legitimate business expenses that are consistent with what’s outlined in their application. We will ask to see expenditure at the mid-way point of the grant.
How do I apply?
You can register your interest to apply on the grant application page. Please note that we strongly recommend that you fill in the application form on a desktop or laptop and save a copy for your own records before submitting. There is a link to a PDF copy on the grant application page, so you can see the questions, prep any answers before you fill in the online form.
What is the application process?
The application is a two-stage process:
Online form: tell us about you, your business plan and how you would use the grant
Shortlist and pitch: to dig into details
What is the deadline for applications?
The online application form will be live from June 2021 and the deadline to apply will be 23rd July 2021 at 11.59PM UK time. Applications submitted after this time will not be considered. Successfully shortlisted candidates will be invited to pitch and interview after this date.
How long does the application process take?
This will vary for each applicant, but we don’t anticipate that it should take you longer than two hours.
What information do I need to apply?
In addition to providing basic information about the business owner (e.g. contact details, LinkedIn/ CV) and the company (e.g. description, ownership breakdown) each applicant must answer a series of short questions, provide net sales for 2020 (if applicable) and expected net sales for the remainder of 2021 and/or 2022, business progress over 2020 and information on any existing funding. If an applicant is shortlisted as a finalist, they will be asked to provide more detailed financial information and plans.
Can I start my application, save it and come back to complete it later?
No, the application can’t be saved and resumed once it has been started. To ensure that work isn’t lost and to spend time thinking over answers, please feel free to take a look at questions here so that you are able to finalise your answers and save a copy of them for your own records before submitting the application online.
Can I edit my responses to the questions after I’ve submitted my application?
No, once submitted you will not be able to edit your application
Should I send samples of products to support my application?
No, we do not need a sample of your product to support your written application. You are welcome to include photos of your product if you wish, however we do understand that some applications will be pre-product and pre-launch, so photos are not essential.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to talk about their product at more length.
How will I know if my application has been received?
Once an application is complete, applicants will see a confirmation that their application has been recorded.
Will my business information be kept private and confidential?
Absolutely! We understand that applicants are likely to be providing us with private, non-public, confidential information about their business as part of the application. We commit to keeping that information confidential. This information will only be shared with individuals involved with the selection process.
How will I know if I have been shortlisted as a finalist?
We will let applicants know if they have been selected as a finalist and will reach out via the email address or phone number provided in the application.
Does being a shortlisted finalist automatically mean that I receive the grant?
No, being invited to be a finalist means you will be invited to provide further information and to interview with the founders of Life+ and the application review team.
How are applications evaluated?
Applications are via a two-step process:
Shortlist candidates are invited to interview/ pitch.
The online form will evaluate the following three criteria:
Your reason for Being (The Why): What is the inspiration for your business and what do you want it to become
You and your Brand (The What): How your business fits into your given sector, how it serves your users, creates moments of happiness for them and what sets your business apart from others in your sector.
Your Future Plan (The How): Your business’s growth plan and how this grant will help it get there
Candidates who are shortlisted will be asked further information on plans and vision and will be asked to provide information on sales/ plans for sales, if applicable.
Will there be additional documentation required or further questions after making an initial submission via the online form?
If we have questions about an application during the review process, we may contact applicants for more information. If shortlisted as a finalist, applicants will be notified via email or telephone. Being selected as a finalist does not guarantee a grant. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to provide additional information to further evaluate their application.
Will recipients receive benefits from this initiative, in addition to the funding?
Yes! Recipients will receive the opportunity to participate in advisory, community and social amplification initiatives from September to December 2021. This will include:
A fortnightly check-in and advisory support from the Life+ team
Access to masterclasses and support from experts in fields such as marketing and PR, growing your community, MVP and product creation
Monthly video calls to stay connected with other grant recipients
Promotion via the Life+ social channels (including Medium, Instagram and podcast) and additional PR.
What if I don’t have an Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other social media account for my business or a business website to link to in the application?
No need to create one just for this application! Please feel free to link personal accounts if they are relevant to your business and share examples of media.
Who do I contact if I have questions about my application or the application process?
Applicants can get in touch by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Life Plus Grant Application”.