The Innovation Launch Pad – for small businesses selling to government. Deadline 22nd April.

The government recently launched an interesting scheme to help smaller businesses sell to the public sector – The Innovation Launch Pad.

It came out about the same time as the startup Britain initiative but seems to have got a little lost in the noise and could actually be pretty substantive. It is something that should be of interest to any business that wants to sell their products or services to government but has been put off by the prospect of too much red tape, inside jobs or the notion that it will just be too hard to sell to the public sector.

Unlike most government ideas though, it has happened quickly and you need to get your skates on in order to apply – deadline is 22nd April.


Do you want this man on your sales team?

(Clue: you do NOT want him on the other side).

The Innovation Launch Pad is a sort of open pitch of your business idea to government – you pitch and the process is so transparent that you can see all the other pitches that have been made. The best pitches, as chosen in a vote by civil servants from across all government departments will then be invited to present their ideas to government with the help and support of people like Hermann Hauser, Mike Lynch, Jon Moulton and others. Drawn from the ranks of serious business people rather than Dragons and Apprentices I am led to believe…

To be honest, it is not clear how many ideas will be taken on board at this point but if you are an SME and wouldn’t want to get mentoring and advice from those three people alone, you should close your company down now.

Here is the timeline.

28th March – 22nd April – Business Idea Submission Phase

  • During the first phase SMEs are invited to enter business ideas. Once you have registered, click on the Post Idea button and complete the required fields. Anyone who has registered will be able to comment on ideas submitted. SMEs will be able to modify their ideas at any time during the first phase in response to comments received.

23rd April – 29th April – Final Comment Phase

  • This short phase is designed to allow time for comments on those ideas submitted near the end of the submission window. During the final comments phase no new ideas will be accepted.

2nd May-27th May – Voting Phase

  • Civil servants will vote on ideas using the voting options on the site. Only those who have registered using legitimate, verified civil service email addresses will be permitted to vote.

30th May – 1st July – Selection & Presentation Phase

  • The final selection of ideas will take place and mentoring will be undertaken with those SMEs submitting the best ideas. They will then work with our team of volunteer entrepreneurs on preparing their final presentations for the Product Surgery.


  • Those ideas that demonstrate the highest impact will be invited to present their ideas at a Product Surgery in the summer. In addition, Downing Street will host a reception for those with the best ideas.

Hermann Hauser

Hermann Hauser