Now more than ever, ambitious organisations need to build products that customers can’t live without. Sussex Innovation’s Hot House programme for autumn 2020 will tap into emerging insight, knowledge and trends to help businesses respond to a rapidly changing world.

“The global pandemic has shifted all the old commercial rules – how people work, travel, socialise, create, find purpose, educate, exercise and entertain themselves are all completely unrecognisable from this time last year,” says Claire Pasquill, Head of Programmes. “With this new set of research and consultancy packages, we’re planning to help the businesses in our community rise to the challenge and identify where the opportunities for growth lie. The programme is all about product innovation – developing new ideas that meet customer demand and working out how to monetise them.”


"My initial impression was ‘this is
just going to be a research piece’…
Then I realised this was the most
in-depth understanding I had of
our market, way more than anything
we’d ever done before"

Mark Hla, ThriveMap


According to data from NESTA, product innovation is one of the biggest drivers of growth, but only 16% of UK companies prioritise it – making it a huge competitive advantage for those that do. Over six modules of strategic support, Sussex Innovation’s advisors offer all the tools necessary to bring a new idea to market:

If you’re at the ‘idea’ stage and need to build a compelling story about your new product or service – take the Pitch Canvas module to brainstorm and visualise your concept, outlining the problems that you solve for customers, what makes your idea unique, and how it will work in practice.

If you have ambitious growth plans and want to build on a founding insight – take the What’s Your Insight module to uncover greater understanding of your market and its needs. Companies with a compelling founding insight find it easier to attract investment, build great marketing campaigns and find their first customers.

If you need to understand the choices already available to your customers – take the Competitor Analysis module to learn where the biggest opportunities in your market lie. Every product and service has competition – but it may not be immediately obvious how your customers are already solving the problem for themselves, or how the competition package, price, position and target their offer.

• If you need to take a deep dive into what your customer really wants from your product – take the Consumer Survey module to conduct and analyse unbiased research. Learn how much your customers really want what you have to sell, and whether they need it enough that they’ll pay you to do it for them.

If you need to review your strategy, take the So What SWOT module to assess your internal and external risks and opportunities and build a comprehensive forward plan. More than just your standard SWOT analysis, this approach teaches you how to leverage your insights and make informed decisions.

If you need to start making things happen, take the Launch Roadmap module to identify the most crucial steps toward launching your product, and a plan of action to get there. Every new idea is different, and has its own route to market depending on the resources you have available.

With funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Sussex Innovation can deliver any one of the six modules free of charge to eligible SMEs, instead of their usual market value of £600-£1500.

Visit for more information and to book your course.

This project has received funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediary body Greater London Authority) is the managing authority for the ERDF. Established by the European Union, the ERDF helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation and businesses, create jobs and regenerate local communities.

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