Get support to start your business with DMU's Crucible Project


If you have always wanted to start your own business, now is your chance to get the very best support to achieve your dream – free

With decades of experience working in the creative industries, setting up and running his own businesses or helping others to do the same, Percy is passionate about helping entrepreneurs to make their mark.

Crucible elissa

A firm believer that business advice is not “one size fits all”, Percy Emmett, who is Associate Professor Enterprise at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) runs DMU’s Crucible Project helping students turn their product or service into a business.

The year-long programme provides a mix of funding and support – as well as access to facilities and professional equipment – that will enable entrepreneurs to thrive.

Now as applications open for the next year’s Crucible programme, we caught up with Percy to find out how it can help you.

1. What are you looking for from applicants?

A good idea, passion and commitment to their business goals and objectives.

2. What does being part of The Crucible involve?

Crucible is a family, Crucible is where all have similar problems to solve, being part of that family means you can share those problems and issue and get valuable support in overcoming them.

It means we are a collective that supports and helps each other through the very difficult stages of business Design, Development and Delivery.

3. How much does it cost?

All it cost you is time, effort and dedication to your business develoment and growth.

4. Do I have to have a business already up and running?

Crucible is a business start-up programme that supports those that have a good idea and want to turn it in to a great business. Crucible accept businesses that have been running up to two years old.

5. Do I have to have a particular kind of business idea?

We are open to any idea on Crucible, some of the sectors that we have supported over the years are:

  • Fashion
  • Ceramics
  • Gaming
  • Animation
  • Gamification
  • Jewellers
  • Underwear design
  • Furniture design
  • Architecture
  • Music
  • Artists
  • Sports
  • App developers

And the list goes so you can see we support good ideas that have the potential to succeed as long as you have the passion and drive to make it happen.

6. How has being on The Crucible Project helped other students and graduates?

Crucible is a business start-up programme at offers students and alumni the opportunity to explore and research their business to ascertain if they are viable in the market place, past participants have received mentoring to help their businesses grow.

Crucible also offers some financial support to help prototype their product, service or business to get it ready to sell. Crucible offers office space along with the use of facilities such as full Adobe suites, laser cutters, photo and films equipment, large format printers and 3D printing.

Crucible has supported of 70 businesses in the past four years some of those have gone to great things from getting a one-man show at the Saatchi gallery to becoming designer of the year at Asos to securing venture capital of £150,000 as well helping those that are ready to exhibit at international trade shows.

Crucible is an incubator that supports not only the business but the person running the business, to ensure that both have the best possible option of success. 

The year-long programme provides a mix of funding and support – as well as access to facilities and professional equipment – that will enable entrepreneurs to thrive.

The Crucible Project includes:
•    Access to investment to support your business
•    Personalised mentoring
•    Training workshops covering need-to-know topics such as protecting ideas, finding funding and writing a marketing plan
•    Coaching to deliver a winning pitch
•    Access to professional facilities such as 3D printers, graphics and editing suite, laser cutters and filming equipment

The Crucible Project is open to alumni, recent graduates and final year students who have an innovative business idea – be it a concept, product or service – that needs development and has the potential to be a company by the end of the programme. Application forms can be found here. The deadline for applications is August 14 2020 but we are happy to receive early applications.

Crucible inset one up

Every year, DMU supports its Crucible Project members to success – taking them from idea to launch within 10 months.

Successful Crucible Project members include pyrotechnic artist Marcus Dove, whose work has been sold by the Saatchi Gallery, Jessica Okoro whose BeScience STEM business has taken her all over the world promoting science and STEM subjects to young people, especially girls.

Lingerie designer Elissa Poppy’s business got a huge boost after she won ASOS Designer of the Year – an international competition which earned her £50,000 to put into her business and a contract with fashion giant ASOS.

Company One Up came up with a gamification programme for sales teams – they managed to leverage £150,000 in venture capital investment in their now thriving company.

Posted on Wednesday 8th July 2020

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