GovStart is a sixth-month growth programme to help tech startups transform the public sector. We take startups at different stages and in various sectors, working with products that have powerful public sector applications, and provide them with the tailored support, strategy and networks they need to succeed.

Applications for GovStart 2020 closed at 23.59 on 24 August.
Applications closed.

GovStart 2020 Themes

We are open to any solutions that can be applied to the public sector, but we are particularly interested in technologies that can help the public sector deal with the current challenging times

Health theme title image

HealthTech solutions for remote monitoring and self management of COVID-19 and related conditions.

Mental health theme title image

Digital interventions to support young people and adults' mental health.

Future of Work title image

Digital training and coaching for people that have lost their jobs because of COVID-19, to get them ready for the jobs of the future.

Transport theme, title image

Data solutions to aid transport authorities in meeting the new mobility challenges posed by the pandemic and implementing smart transport networks.

Prisons and rehabilitation govstart theme title image

Smart solutions for safer and better prisons, from internal operations to offender rehabilitation.

What's in it for me?

We are open to working with companies at any stage, from Pre-Seed to Series C, and we build bespoke programmes for each business that joins GovStart. 

GovStart in numbers image

What we offer: early stage company

If you have an early product, first proof points and runway to sustain the programme, we can support you to get ready for your first pilot with the public sector.

  • Product development and compliance with public sector cyber security and data protection standards
  • Access to public sector networks and support in positioning your product in a way that speaks to government buyers
  • Commercial support to get first public sector traction
  • Founder coaching and support in building a strong advisory board
  • Support to help you raise your first funding round and/or secure grant funding
  • Long term public sector strategic plan
Flynotes company logo

Case Study:  Flynotes

Flynotes is a digital consent platform for dental and medical procedures.

Flynotes entered the programme as a single founder company, with an idea to streamline the problem of medical consent faced by doctors in clinical practices. GovStart helped Flynotes develop its Minimum Viable Product, raise £550K in seed capital and develop partnerships with a number of major UK medical and dental providers. 

What we offer: mid-stage company
Novoville corporate logo on transparent background

Case Study: Novoville

After successfully establishing in Greece, Novoville identified GovStart as an opportunity for scaling to the UK and the rest of Europe.

While on GovStart, the company was able to become operational in several UK local councils and to close a seed funding round of £1.2M. They currently operate in 40 cities across Europe. 

If you have raised your first institutional round and/or have recurring revenue, we can help you get ready to bid for public sector contracts

  • Commercial support to get you ready to sell into the public sector or enter a new public sector vertical
  • Access to public sector networks, to help you gain understanding of public sector challenges and gain exposure with key decision makers
  • Technical support to ensure that your technology meets public sector standards
  • Support to raise your Seed/Series A round and/or secure grant funding
  • Support in building a strong advisory board
  • Long term public sector strategic plan
What we offer: late stage company

If you have found your product/market fit and are in the process of raising your Series A or Series B round, we can help you bid for major public sector contracts and expand internationally.

  • Commercial support to win major contracts in the public sector market
  • Support to meet public sector technical compliance and security standards, required to be able to bid for competitive tenders
  • Support on internationalisation, including customer development and local hires
  • Support in building a pipeline of investors
  • Support in building a strong advisory board
  • Long term public sector strategic plan
Adzuna company logo on transparent background

Case-study: Adzuna

Adzuna was already established in the private sector, with operations in several countries when they started working with PUBLIC. with operations in several countries.

PUBLIC supported Adzuna in bidding for a major government contract, writing the tender bid, growing the business and complying with government regulations. As a result, Adzuna were successfully awarded a £2.5m p.a. contract with the Department for Works and Pensions to power Universal Jobmatch: the Government’s job board.

36 companies have benefited from GovStart so far
View in portfolio

Meet the GovStart Mentors

Correy Voo

CTO, Temporall

James Steventon

Ex-CEO, Web Technology Group

James Stewart

Ex-deputy CTO, UK Government

Jo Mann

Public Sector Business Development Director, Big 4

Liam Cahill

Founder, Sector Three Digital

Mark Jenkins

Founder & UK Managing Director, Oviva

Mike Tinmouth

Marketing Director & Strategist, ex-Azimo

Nick Gargan

Former Chief Constable

Niraj Dattani

Ex-Head of Partnerships at Spacehive & Local councillor

Pam Garside

Healthcare consultant and angel investor

Rachel Neaman

Digital Consultant, NED and former CEO

Rhiannon Evans-Young

Director & Founder, Crest Communications

Sally Howes OBE

Chair of Steering Board, UK Space Agency

Stephen Heidukewitsch

Former Oracle sales executive

Wyndham Plumptre

Founder, Upside Projects

What we're looking for in a GovStart company?

A team with a track record

A tested and technically defensible product

Runway to sustain the programme

Willingness to contribute to the GovStart community

The desire to improve society

What terms do we offer companies applying to GovStart?

  • Long term commitment: PUBLIC asks for warrants in every GovStart company. We do this when we back a company because we want to be involved for the long run, supporting and representing our portfolio in front of governments for many years
  • We grow if you grow: The price per share for our warrants is based upon your most recent valuation. This means that we only benefit when we start adding value to your company and help increase your valuation.
  • KPI driven commercial terms: We don’t get any warrants up front. Typically, the first tranche of warrants will only vest when we have delivered the programme. The second tranche will be dependent upon completion of programmes objectives that we set with each company. These objectives must be core to the company’s strategy, which commercially ties PUBLIC in to helping you achieve the things that are most important to you.
  • Bespoke agreement: The commercial agreement that we set with you is based on the stage you are at and the level of support that you require from us. We don’t have a “one size fits all” approach, and we make sure that each founder is comfortable with the terms that we set together.
  • No preferential rights: We do not take any preferential rights, which means: no waterfalls, voting rights, anti-dilution or anything else you will see in preferential shares. We convert into ordinary shares.

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