Frequently asked questions


When’s the deadline for applying?

23:59 BST, Friday, 25th September 2021

What information do I need to provide in my application?

We ask you for information about you, your idea, your team and your company. Don’t hold back, let us know how great you are.

What happens once I’ve applied?

Once you’ve submitted your details via the application form on L Marks’ Bridge platform, we will work with our partners, L Marks, to review your responses and confirm your suitability for the programme. L Marks may be in touch to gather further details and are there to answer any questions you have before your details are submitted to the programme committee for review.

I don’t live in the UK, can I apply?

Of course! Companies, entrepreneurs and startups from across the globe are encouraged to apply. Bear in mind that you may need a visa to participate in activities in the UK and that you may be required to travel to the UK for certain points during the programme (pandemic restrictions permitting).

Is there a minimum age?

You must be at least 18 years old to apply.


Is my business right for Alder Hey Innovation Lab?

We want to collaborate with startups and help them to take their business to the next level. We’re interested in all startups that can help us, in one or more of the categories described. Your startup needn’t be at the very beginning of its journey. Maybe you have a product already, maybe you even have paying customers. If you feel that your startup could benefit from working with us then we’d love to receive your application.

What type of products are you looking for?

Please take a look at the What we’re interested in section on the website to read more about our key areas of interest. Within sprint 1, we have two categories to apply for; Bringing UX experience to the patient; Gamification and the child WOW factor, and Hospital Optimisation; the end to end journey. If you have an idea that doesn’t quite fit any of those, but you still think it would work for us – send it through!

Who can participate?

Companies, entrepreneurs and startups from across the globe who are prepared to develop their products and services in collaboration with us for the benefit of Alder Hey and our patients.

I’ve been in accelerators before and have customers – is this right for me?

We know that your needs will be very different from an early-stage business. That’s why we make sure that any mentoring or activities you’re involved in are tailored to your needs. Your time is precious and we won’t waste it. So long as you have an ambition to test out your product and ideas in the Alder Hey Innovation Lab, we can work together.

Do I need to give away equity to participate?

No, we do not ask for equity for participating in this programme. However, we or the programme sponsors may ask you to keep us notified about future funding rounds.

Are you asking for exclusivity?

No, we’re not asking you to sign an exclusivity agreement. We want to build a relationship based on trust and, if we like each other, we hope that you’ll see us as the first port of call when you need feedback on your new products.

What are the terms of entry into the Lab?

Teams selected to join the programme will be required to sign a participation agreement.

Are you offering any travel support or assistance?

Travel support to participate in activities at Alder Hey is at our discretion. Due to the pandemic, we do not foresee that extensive travel will be involved.

If selected, what are the key dates I’ll need to be available?

  • Pitch Day – 2nd November 2021
  • Programme Live – w/c 10th January 2022
  • Midpoint review – w/c 14th February 2022
  • Demo Day – 19th April 2022

Is the Alder Hey Innovation Lab like other accelerators?

We believe we are different. We’ll provide your business with the following opportunities:

  • Trial your product with Alder Hey
  • Receive mentoring from senior executives within Alder Hey and people within the programme sponsor businesses
  • Gain insights from subject matter experts

When is the Alder Hey Innovation Lab running?

The programme will run from 10th January through to 19th April.

Where is the programme based?

The programme will likely take place remotely for the most part. We will need to assess in-person meetings depending on current Covid-19 travel and meeting restrictions.

Do I need to relocate to participate in the Alder Hey Innovation Lab?

No, it is likely we will hold most events and meetings remotely. However, we may encourage some onsite attendance at the latter stages of the programme and potentially for Demo Day (again, dependent on the latest pandemic recommendations and restrictions). We can discuss one on one the needs of your company and the partnering resources of Alder Hey to see what would work best during the programme timeframe.

Will Alder Hey and/or L Marks invest in every company that joins the programme?

We will decide if we want to invest in any of the startups at the end of the programme.

How many startups will be chosen for the programme?

We will aim to select a cohort for the programme (2-4 startups in the first Sprint). This will allow for a more focused approach to ensure that startups receive dedicated support and guidance.

Who is L Marks? What is their role in this innovation programme?

L Marks is a corporate innovation specialist and early-stage investor. They build bridges between large corporates seeking to innovate more quickly with young companies with disruptive technologies, products and services. Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Stuart Marks, they run bespoke startup partnership programmes across industry sectors, working closely with partners like BMW, Arsenal and Lloyds of London, to identify where they believe the challenges are in their businesses and then turn these into opportunities for improvement and innovation. Each programme is tailored to deliver real solutions to the corporate partners and create real opportunities for startups to test and grow their product with a major partner.

Where will the mentors come from?

Mentors will include senior executives from Alder Hey and the programme sponsors , entrepreneurs and external subject matter experts.

What does the day-to-day look like at Alder Hey Innovation Lab?

The lab’s programme is designed to help you develop your solution, starting with deciding on a specific use case, receiving essential guidance from your mentors and demonstrating the value of your solution to Alder Hey. Each startup’s experience on the programme will be unique – we tailor the mentoring and education programmes to meet your business’s specific needs.

What is the process?

The programme has 4 stages:

1. Apply

2. Pitch

3. Programme

4. Demo

See our timeline for more info.