Investment Opportunities

This Innovation Exchange challenge, delivered by Innovate UK KTN through the Global Alliance Africa project, is supporting Kenya Airways to identify innovative solutions for airport navigation via the metaverse. They would like to harness the opportunities that next generational technologies provide to improve accessibility for all travellers to navigate the complex logistics of airports.

Kenya Airways, a member of the Sky Team Alliance, is a leading African airline flying to 42 destinations worldwide, 35 of which are in Africa. It carries over four million passengers annually and in 2020, was named Africa’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards.

The company continues to modernize its fleet with its 32 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa. This includes its flagship B787 Dreamliner aircraft. Kenya Airways services London, Amsterdam, Guangzhou, Sharjah, Mumbai and over 25 intra-Africa routes within its passenger network.

Kenya Airways takes pride in being at the forefront of connecting Africa to the World and the World to Africa through its hub at the new ultra-modern Terminal 1A at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

Kenya Airways is interested in the ways next generational technologies could assist all their passengers to navigate the complex logistics of airports. They welcome ideas for innovative web, app, UI, AR, VR, XR applications that may assist elderly, anxious, less literate and disabled travellers. Mobile phone capability is envisaged for customer accessibility, possibly alongside other platforms and devices. Solutions are invited from, but not limited to, the following sectors:

  • Travel logistics
  • Data capture
  • Software development
  • Gaming
  • Hardware
  • Design
  • Assistive technology
Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to pitch their solution to Kenya Airways. The winning applicant, as selected by Kenya Airways, will get the opportunity to collaborate with them on a trial project. Up to GBP 25,000 seed funding is available (subject to T&Cs) to the successful finalist/s for this collaboration.
Rewards and Benefits
  • Up to GBP 25,000 seed funding (Subject to T&C)
  • Opportunity to pitch your solution to Kenya Airways
  • Collaboration/partnership with Kenya Airways
  • Technical support from Kenya Airways team
  • Mentorship programme facilitated by KTN
  • Sector expertise from KTN
  • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot
  • Invitation to attend or present at KTN events
  • Investor introductions (if investment is required)
  • Application support for any Innovate UK or similar competitions that are relevant.

Eligibility & Assessment Criteria

Entrants to this competition must be:

  • Established businesses, start-ups, SMEs or individual entrepreneurs
  • Africa-based entrants, UK-based entrants and those from RoW are invited to apply

Due Diligence requirements for seed funding:

  • UK applicants must ensure that receiving the £25k seed funding will not exceed the £315,000* state aid threshold under UK Minimal Financial Assistance regulations over the current and last 2 fiscal years [or *200,000 euros for applicants affected by EC de minimis regulations]
  • Further information will be required later relating to company policies, financial history and recent grant funding received.

Applications will be assessed on:

  • Relevance to the topic
  • Innovative nature of the subject
  • Coherence of the proposed business model
  • Feasibility/ economic viability
  • Development potential
  • Maturity of project/solution
  • Ability to launch project quickly/Ease of implementation
  • Price/quality ratio
  • Suitability for the Kenyan Market

Read more and Register here or more details on the challenge and application process, please register for the Information Session/Q&A here: Session – 9am BST on Tuesday, 4th April 2023 (1.5 hrs) – this will be recorded if you are unable to attend.

Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency, supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. They help businesses grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes and services. They have announced a list of their current funding opportunities targeting UK registered businesses, Small and Medium enterprises, research communities and local authorities. Please check individual competition dates as they may have been extended.

Future Economy Investor Partnerships for SME’s: round 1

UK registered businesses can apply for funding of up to £2 million alongside private investment from selected investor partners.

Innovate UK smart grants: 2023

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable research and development (R&D) innovations that can significantly impact the UK economy.

Automotive Transformation Fund: scale up readiness validation

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £11 million, to validate readiness for scale up of manufacturing processes in the automotive supply chain of net zero technologies.

V2X Innovation Programme: bi-directional charging demonstrations

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £9.4 million, for small scale demonstrations of novel vehicle to everything (V2X) energy technology providing storage and flexible services.

Knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP): 2023 to 2024: round 2

UK registered academic institutions, research and technology organisations or Catapults can apply for a share of up to £9 million to fund innovation projects with businesses or not for profits.

Cyber security academic startup accelerator programme: phase one

Individuals based in a UK academic institution can apply for a share of up to £800,000 to join the cyber security academic startup accelerator programme.

Digital Dairy Chain: collaborative R&D and growth

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £2 million for business focused collaborative research and development innovation in advanced and high value dairy production and manufacturing.

Resource efficiency for materials and manufacturing

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £12 million for ambitious collaborative research and development projects to support UK materials and manufacturing organisations

NATEP helping SMEs innovate in aerospace: spring 2023

UK registered small and medium-sized enterprises can apply for a share of up to £2.5 million for industrial-led civil aerospace collaborative research and development projects.

UK-Switzerland bilateral: collaborative research and development

UK registered organisations, in collaboration with at least one Swiss registered business, can apply for a share of up to £2 million for research projects resulting in innovative solutions.

ZEVI: alternative fuel vessels and refuelling infrastructure

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £77 million. The funding will be to develop, deploy and operate clean maritime solutions for 3 years in a real world environment.

Energy catalyst round 10: early-stage

Organisations can apply for a share of up to £10 million in total across the 3 stages. Organisations can create new or improved clean energy access in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia or the Indo-Pacific regions.

Hydrogen storage and distribution supply chain collaborative R&D

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £4.35 million for collaborative research and development (R&D) projects related to hydrogen storage and distribution supply chain.

Farming Innovation Programme large R&D partnerships: round 2

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £8 million for large research and development (R&D) partnership projects.

Future Leaders Fellowships: round 8

Early career researchers and innovators based at eligible academic or non-academic institutions, can apply for a share of up to £100 million for funding to support research or innovation programmes.

Novel, low-emission food production systems: industrial research

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £16 million to deliver resource efficient, low-emission food production systems.

Please visit Innovate UK New Funding Opportunities to know more and for further details. Also visit the Innovate UK website to explore the different forms of support, resources and funding available for business innovation.

Based on an eight-point criterion, Beauhurst tracks more than 45,000 ambitious* private companies in the United Kingdom for the period between 2020 and 2021, to identify some of the fastest growing businesses in every UK nation, while also shed light on the range of popular sectors and trends and methods of growth.


Beauhurst is a searchable, data-driven platform, that helps discover, track, and understand high growth companies in the UK, in a variety of sectors, from education to law, while also unearthing information on unpopular funding opportunities and other key events in the UK.

The United Kingdom has an exquisite start up ecosystem attracting entrepreneurs and investors from all nooks and corners of the world, building world class businesses and products. To be classified a high-growth company in the Beauhurst dataset, it must meet at least one or all the eight-points criteria, called the triggers of growth, that ranges from equity investment to venture debt.

The current outlook published in January this year is based on the 45k+ companies tracked by the platform, and the current analysis focuses on these Beauhurst registered companies with a turnover of at least £100k between 2020-2021. It revealed a majority (88%) of the businesses to be based in England, with just 7% in Scotland, 3% in Wales and 2% in Northern Ireland.

While equity investment remains the common growth method for businesses, the relative percentage of companies that have looked into accelerator programmes for development are much lower in England compared to other countries.

Business and Professional sectors has been identified as the most sought sectors across UK: England (44%), Scotland (38%), Wales (41%) and Northern Ireland (37%)., with fintech being the most popular focus area in England making up for 3.5% all English businesses. 74% of all fintech startups are also headquartered in London.

For London in 2021, the previous High Growth in London 2022 report by Beauhurst had shown fintech emerges as the most popular high-growth industry, accounting for 14% of all active companies in the region representing a whopping 69% of all high growth fintech companies in the UK, followed by artificial intelligence and digital security. The current report repeated the trend in the tech sector with Fintech companies making up 3.5% of the English businesses. Read more of the report and to know the top companies in all nations in the UK.