Venture Creator Programme

Accelerating London-based businesses build innovative products to tackle the climate crisis, as part of the Future Industries Demonstrator led by SHIFT

Accelerating the path to Net Zero

Our Venture Creator Programme is for London-based businesses looking to scale their innovation technology which will tackle the climate crisis.  This programme will teach you the core technical and business skills that’ll take you to the next level.


The 8-week innovation accelerator which will provide your business with hands-on support to develop and test your solution in east London. You’ll leave the programme with a compelling testbed proposal and an agreement with local testbed partner to utilise testbed funding.


What is the Future Industries Demonstrator

The Future Industries Demonstrator (FID) is a mission-led scale up programme led by SHIFT, focused on supporting London-based enterprises who are working on innovative solutions to tackle the climate crisis.

Funded by UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, in partnership with Levelling Up, Supported by the Mayor of London, Hackney Council, Tower Hamlets Council, Newham Council and Waltham Forest Council.

Delivered with the London Legacy Development Cooperation, CDT Hackney Wick & Fish Island, UCL, RELondon, HWFI Creative Enterprise Zone and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Challenge 02: Sustainable Structures

This challenge was an urgent call out to all of the London innovators working to reimagine buildings and energy systems for a net zero future.

East London is one of the fastest changing urban locations in the UK and presents the ideal opportunity to demonstrate solutions that make urban areas more sustainable. By reshaping our skyline for a more resilient future here, we can set the standard for resilient cities worldwide.

We looked for bold, systemic responses that consider the complexity of how different aspects of our built environment connect and interact, by targeting SMEs working on a solution that addresses one or both of our challenge areas.

This challenge was open to all types of solutions that support the transition to a resilient capital. As well as new tech, we wanted to uplift innovators who are: building new services and business models; using digital tools to monitor and manage the environment; thinking about climate justice; supporting behaviour change; driving opportunities for new economies; and more.

Applications are closed for this challenge. 

Meet our second cohort

Meet Material Index, Seastex, Carbon Cell, MapMortar, and Shaded​​

Over a five-month programme, the cohort will build, test and showcase their innovative solutions to making urban areas more sustainable.

With east London being one of the fastest-changing urban locations in the UK, the next five months are the ideal opportunity to set the standard for building and energy systems for cities across the world.

We can’t wait to get started.

Express your interest for Challenge 03: Nourishing Neighbourhoods

Supporting Food Systems solutions. Applications open in May 2024.

What does the Venture Creator involve?

Venture Creator programme will be delivered in-person over 8-weeks at Plexal HQ in Stratford, east London. Each week there will be a half day workshop with content aimed at challenging and improving your solution. The workshops are designed to help you answer critical questions that will ensure the success of your testbed, including:

  • Local challenge validation: who do I need to speak with to develop a detailed understanding of the local context for this challenge?
  • Solution-fit: how does my existing solution fit this local context? What requirements are needed and are iterations necessary?
  • Partnerships and testbed sites: Where will I test this solution? What other local partners need to be involved to make this a success?
  • Testbed operations: What health and safety, permits, licenses or planning permissions do I need to gain?
  • Measuring impact: What impact will my solution have on east London, and how do I measure it?

Throughout the programme Plexal, SHIFT, and partners will provide mentorship and connections to relevant local stakeholders to unlock new opportunities for your business in east London.

A clear project owner should be nominated from your organisation to attend each week’s half day workshop in-person, however other colleagues are welcome to join these as well. Your wider business will also have the opportunity to engage with the programme through a series of online sessions that bring together wider groups to share learnings and opportunities.

Plexal will also offer innovation facilities for the duration of the programme, including up to 2 hot desks for each company to use, affording cohort members the opportunity to co-locate in east London with close access to local partners, testbed sites, and the support team at Plexal team.

Previous challenges

Challenge 01: Natural Cities

The Natural Cities Challenge called for businesses who focus on:​

🌊 Safeguard our Water Systems: Reducing risk from flooding and drought, restoring natural water bodies and protecting water resources​
🌬 Clean our Air: Reducing air pollution from existing sources and removing pollutants​
🌳  Halt and Reverse Biodiversity Loss: Promoting biodiversity and the wellbeing of natural spaces​
♨  Fight Rising Temperatures: Combatting the urban heat island effect​
🏙  Create a Capital Without Waste: Minimising waste and its impacts ​


For the first time on a Plexal innovation programme, successful applicants have the opportunity to receive:​
✨ £20,000 grant to supplement scaling plans​
✨ £5,000 budget to support testbed deployment​
In addition to:​
✨ Best in class Stratford workspaces​
✨ Expert support from our specialist innovation team as well as subject matter experts at University College London​
✨ 1:1 coaching with a circular business specialist​
✨ Support programme facilitated by SHIFT

Applications are closed for this challenge. 

Meet our first cohort


We supported five London-based SMEs to find new partnerships, stress-test their go-to-market strategy and devise a plan to trial their innovative solutions in East London.

LEAP Micro AD, Rokiah Yaman
FibreLab, Kaela Katz and Claudia Gandhi
GoodMine, Nikki Gaddo FRSA, Inês Liberato and Kath Mora
Alive Labs, Nik Naidu and Will Hunt
Yomodo, Sophie Dhaliwal

We’re excited to see these ventures grow and help build natural cities!

Full details about the Future Industries Demonstrator by SHIFT

Delivery Partners

London Legacy Logo
Plexal Logo
Hackney Wick and Fish Island Logo
UCL Logo
ReLondon Logo

Supporting Partners

Hackney Logo
Funded by UK Government Logo
Levelling Up logo
Supported by Mayor of London logo
Tower Hamlets
Newham London Logo
Waltham Forest logo