2019 Cohort 1

In 2019 Genesys will incubate ventures grouped into two cohorts of 20 very early stage ventures each. The activity undertaken for each cohort will follow a set schedule:

Schedule of Activity for 2019 Cohort 1


1 February – 31 March 2019

There are four briefs set for ventures to apply to. Three specified categories, and a fourth open brief.

Brief 1: Innovation in Food Packaging

Brief 2: Innovation in Healthcare

Brief 3: Decision Quality

Brief 4: Open Brief – Disruptive Innovation

Ventures may apply at any given time during the Application stage. Applications that are received after the cut off date of midnight on 31 March 2019 (GMT) will be considered for the 2019 Cohort 2 activity scheduled for the second half of the year.

Applications may be submitted by completing the following application form, or by emailing us on: applications@genesys-vc.com.

Once an application has been received Genesys will respond within 2 working days to confirm that a ventures fits the brief criteria. Successful ventures are then invited to complete a Routes to Value Map for their venture.

Routes to Value Maps

18 February – 12 April 2019

Routes to Value Maps are a way of presenting a business plan as a set of options that may occur, and work packages that must be completed as defined and measurable goals. The end result being a defined Revenue target at a set date in the future. This exercise is structured to achieve two outcomes: 1) This is an opportunity for the venture to think clearly about the interim milestones and targets that are necessary for their venture to succeed; and 2) This information provides a way for Genesys to add value during the active management phase of incubation, and ensure that funding is linked to performance. Three ‘vectors’ are used to evaluate performance. These are:

  • Total Addressable Market: Is the size of the opportunity large enough, and how does it change over time?
  • Time to Market: Is the stated revenue goal going to be achieved early or late?
  • Confidence: Is the quality of information about how to achieve short and medium term objectives improving?

Full information about completing Routes to Value maps is provided to ventures via a separate website.

Routes to Value Workshops

18 February – 12 April 2019

Genesys will run periodic workshops to help teams prepare their Routes to Value Maps. These will be run as group sessions with opportunity for teams to ask questions and get feedback on specific points.

Team presentations

18 February – 12 April 2019

After completing a Routes to Value Map, selected teams will be invited to provide an in person detailed presentation with follow on questions. The Investment Committee scores how well each applicant meets clearly defined criteria covering aspects of economic, social and environmental value; and prioritises applicants according to the scores. Genesys will include independent assessment in this stage of the scoring to avoid biases and ensure a well rounded approach to the assessments.


Cohort Selection

11 March – 30 April 2019

Each cohort will be comprised of 20 early stage ventures.

Ideally this will be structured as five ‘Pre-Incubation’ ventures. This is typically a team with an idea and a basic prototype. Plus, fifteen ‘Incubation’ stage ventures. These ventures typically have a team, a prototype and have done some basic market testing.

The number of ventures may vary slightly depending on applications and overall investment requirements for the cohort as a whole.

Genesys aims to select projects that either represent a breakthrough in an established sector, or are in high growth emerging sectors. There is no bias towards any particular technology sector, applications market or geographical region. In all cases, the primary selection criterion is economic returns, with secondary considerations of social and environmental impact and value. The Selection Committee reviews information for each venture from 1) the initial application stages; and 2) the Routes to Value Maps. These include a number of sub criteria that are included in the table below for completeness.

Venture Considerations

Business AreaInvestment RequirementsPortfolio Requirements
EmploymentPotential to create and sustain significant direct and indirect employment (i.e. in the supply chain)
CommerceGlobal applications
Low switching and/or education costs
Distinctive competitive space
Synergy with other companies in the Fund’s investment portfolio
CompetenceThe necessary competences have been identified.
FinanceHigh growthHigh volume, high margin, or both
GovernanceBusiness processes in placeProcedures documented
MarketLarge and growing markets
Customers known
Competition identified
OrganisationPassionate, committed entrepreneurs
Open to professional management
A growth mind-set
Willingness to sell equity
Product/ ProcessProprietary versus commodityUniqueness
TechnologyDefined, defendable intellectual property
Disruptive versus incremental
Platform technology
Defensible Market PositioningIntangible Assets / Switching Costs / Network Effects / Cost Advantage / Efficient Scale


Funding Prep

25 March – 30 April 2019

Investment Notes and summary docs are produced for presentation to investors. This will be used to match ventures to specific investors and take portfolio level decisions.

Funding Match

1 May – 30 June 2019

The cohort of ventures will be matched to individual investors. Any ventures that are not successfully funded will be withdrawn form the Cohort, but will still be eligible to be funded as part of another cohort later in the year. The available space may be filled by another venture if deemed necessary.



11 May – 10 July 2019

Selected ventures are invited to an Action Learning Induction. This introduces each Venture team to the full set of resources available within the Genesys network to help them develop their business as quickly as possible. As of the writing of this document these resources include the following list. However this will be under active development on an ongoing basis: Incubation Procedure, Health & Safety, Inventory and Registration of Assets, Routes to Value process, Stage Gate and Reporting Induction, Competency Network Introduction, Software Tools Introduction, Reference Documentation Introduction, Recommended Planning and Presentation Methods, Use of Interns – Ethics and Procedures, Shared Services Introduction, Receive Venture Toolkit, Introduction to Innovation Resources and Workshops and Technicians, Introduction to Partners and Service Providers.


Funding And Resources

11 May – ongoing

Investments of £150,000 for 10-15% equity are typically made in stages throughout the programme. During the application process each venture produces a ‘Routes to Value’ map which sets out performance objectives. These performance objectives are linked to investment stages throughout the programme.

Similarly, the ability and readiness of the team, and the confidence score of your venture will help inform valuation, and the amount of equity will vary between 10-15% as a result.

Active Management 20 Months

11 May 2019 – 11 May 2020

Post investment, Genesys provides an intensive programme of Genesys Active Management for all investee Ventures. Genesys’s role includes engaging with management to: develop competences and build the organisation; implement Routes to Value; generate information flows for future decision making; monitor performance on a high frequency basis; develop appropriate supply chain strategy and relationships; develop and test routes to market and develop a commercial strategy; build a funding roadmap to deliver adequate, timely financial resource to the business; work towards an exit.

Genesys provides value to each venture due to the fact that they can access a larger number of resources through the Genesys network than when operating alone. This is possible because costs are shared between all current (and previous) investee Ventures. This ‘shared resources’ approach is then complemented by highly individualised requirements identified by the Routes to Value work done prior to investment. This is important, because for very early stage ventures the ability to apply the right competence at the right time greatly improves the chances of success for each Venture.

The Genesys competence pool has over 2000 members and these individuals are then engaged directly by the Ventures to get access to specialist assistance. In addition, Genesys runs Bi-Weekly Education Sessions. During these sessions Subject Matter Experts provide training workshops to groups of Ventures. Topics are selected to suit the current needs of Ventures, and the sessions act as a forum for Venture teams to discuss problems and solutions with an expert specialist. These are conducted in a group setting so that team members learn not just about their own challenges, but also hear about what issues their peers are facing. This group learning environment creates context for unexpected solutions to emerge from neighbouring fields of expertise available within the group.

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