Upstarter is an incubator for microbusinesses. We work with designers, makers and creative entrepreneurs to take their ideas to market.

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Upstarter is a new type of business incubator using proven design-led techniques and rapid prototyping to de-risk new ventures. We work with creatives, designers and makers, wherever we find them (or they find us), providing guidance and tools – from focused workshops and work sessions or longer-term programmes such as Program. We help them to connect deeply with their audiences on a regular basis and also offer ongoing mentoring to transform people with great ‘ideas’ into confident entrepreneurs running successful, resilient micro businesses.


How we do this:

  • We work with people who have half an idea, or maybe a whole one, and who don’t really consider themselves business material. We don’t work with the usual suspects.
  • We run workshops and mentoring to support your idea as you make sense of it, and prototype it up. We go to where the businesses are, so we’re a little bit nomadic.
  • We charge what people can afford and do what we can to subsidise things.


Our Upstarts are entrepreneurial and brimming with innovative ideas that have the potential to dramatically impact on real-world human, community and business needs. But often due to the cost of living, don’t have a lot of time or capital to invest their own money at the outset to get their ideas off the ground.

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