Spark – Design Council

Entered 16 October 2017

Applications Close Midday Tuesday 21 November 2017

Design Council Spark is a support and funding programme designed to help you turn your bright idea into a commercially successful product. Since its creation in 2014, Design Council Spark programme has helped more than 100 innovators and entrepreneurs to develop their product ideas, 31 of these have been intensively supported with mentoring, funding and specialist workshops in order to progress to market.

The programme provides design expertise to help shape business opportunities and develop product innovations through an intensive 16-week process, which gives access to specialists across business, IP, investment, and marketing; funding of £15,000 to develop the product, and the opportunity to pitch for a share of up to £200,000 further funding to fast-track the product to market.

2017 Finalists

In this small video clip Hear from 2017 Spark Finalists and their mentors about the programme.

Winners Spark 2017 Design Council

Winners Spark 2017 Design Council

What makes Spark different?

Up to 15 finalists are selected onto our 16-week programme, receiving one-to-one mentoring with specialists in a variety of fields as well as 5 core workshops led by a team of design experts. Finalists gain access to Design Council Spark network and extensive community of past alumni.

Once accepted onto the programme all finalists receive an initial sum of £15,000 to help develop their product, as well as the opportunity to pitch in front of an investment panel to gain further funding to fast-track their product into market.

Spark Design Council

Spark Design Council


For the third year running Design Council Spark is proud to confirm our partnership with Arthritis Research UK, a charity which conducts research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. Both organisations share a similar ethos – to improve lives through innovation and design. The charity’s support for Design Council Spark aims to attract new product ideas for life-altering products and to fast-track those products to market.

What the Design Council are looking for

Spark Design Council

Spark Design Council

Design Council Spark is looking to turn bright ideas into brilliant products to improve the lives of others in the following areas:

Have a bright idea.  

We look for bright product ideas that are at sketch, prototype or planning stage.


We want to know more about you, your idea and the plans for your product in the future.

Make the shortlist.

The Spark team will notify shortlisted applicants to offer them a position in Design Camp, where you will be introduced to the programme and meet other shortlisted applicants. If you are unsuccessful, the team will give the option to receive personal feedback.

Attend Design Camp.

Design Camp is an intensive 2-day boot camp, where we help you to refine your product idea and pitch for a place on the Spark programme.

Become a finalist

Up to 15 finalists will be selected to join the 16 week Spark programme, which is designed to help you grow your idea and develop a business plan. The programme delivers a series of workshops led by specialist design experts, one-to-one mentoring and a £15,000 grant to assist with product development.

Pitch for the Spark Award.

On completion of the programme all finalists will pitch their product ideas to an investment panel for the opportunity to receive further funding.

Brightest Sparks announced.

Up to five products will be awarded a share of £200,000.

Further details Spark Design Council