Browse Catapults
Transport System Catapult - Logo Home

Accelerator Programme Team Lead

Type: full
Location: Milton Keynes London
Reference: CPC262

Who Are We?

Connected Places Catapult (CPC) is the UK Centre of Excellence for urban innovation and mobility with a role to catalyse the innovation market in the UK and globally. From our Urban Innovation Centre in London, we provide world-class facilities and expertise to support the development of new products and services, as well as opportunities to collaborate with others, test ideas and develop business models.


Acceleration Programme

The Acceleration Programme enables innovating SMEs in the intelligent mobility and built environment to cross the procurement, knowledge and scale barriers that prevent them bringing their innovations to market which is critical to their growth. The CPC helps large public sector and industry organisations to source innovation from the SME market with innovation to reduce procurement barriers and brings innovating SMEs together with funders and buyers at events, at our bases in Milton Keynes and London and further afield, and in our marketing activities. We established our first programme, the Intelligent Mobility Accelerator (working with Wayra/Telefonica, Hyundai and Amey) to help entrepreneurs create businesses from their ideas and we intend to grow the programme across the UK and it acts as a microcosm of our SME Programme as a whole. Building on the success of this pioneering model, we have 4 other programmes at various stages of development and maturity. We are looking to expand this activity across different programmes to plug the gaps in innovation support in the UK transport and built environment sectors.

Together with the rest of the CPC, the Acceleration Programme aims to provide a great framework, based on perception, relevancy, leadership and credibility to assist in bridging the gap between Academia, Business, Government and SMEs to help entrepreneurs create new UK businesses and the growth of existing smaller UK companies who work within the eco-system of transport systems.


Purpose of the role

This is a dynamic team leadership role responsible for the day-to-day running of our demanding accelerator programmes to ensure they run smoothly. Working with external partners and colleagues across the business, you’ll play a key role in identifying the next generation of disruptive SMEs in the key domains of mobility, critical infrastructure and built environment and adding quality mentors, coaches and partners to our network. You’ll have 2-4 years relevant experience in an accelerator environment working with key stakeholders, a passion for working with SMEs and will follow the startup tech scene. You’ll also be creative, fast-moving, self-motivated, work to a consistently high standard and be passionate about the broader tech landscape.

The role reports to the Director of Academic and SME Development.  It will also work closely with the Business Engagement, Delivery and Marketing and Communications Teams, to help create and operate an Innovation Factory that successfully introduces new products and services to the industry.

This will require the individual to identifying new opportunities where an accelerator programme can help the market address its challenges, building and managing new and existing programmes from the point of concept to delivery of intelligent mobility-focussed accelerators, working with internal and external stakeholders (SMEs, Government, Academia, and Larger Corporates) to align accelerator activities to propositions and proof of concepts. Identifying, implementing and managing supporting tools and systems to operationalise activity and develop a ‘virtual accelerator’ and alumni network will also be vital.

There will also be the requirement to work with those stakeholders to develop sustainable businesses mapping against the relevant KPI matrix to increase GVA and show impact.


Key Responsibilities

  • Actively leads and guides the team, by providing excellent frontline management to the members of the Accelerator Team; including setting objectives, providing performance feedback, resourcing to projects, communicating corporate messages, and daily management.
  • Lead on deliverables for projects requiring accelerator activity.
  • Drives operational processes and compliance within the team.
  • Build, lead and manage the Accelerator Programme in delivery of programmes, cocreation, and projects across the Catapult.
  • Ensures the team and programme deliver against KPIs and delivery plan.
  • Drive team productivity and quality of the team’s deliverables, including quality control.
  • Nurture a supportive and productive culture that upholds the mission and values of the Catapult.
  • Working with stakeholders (internally and externally) to develop accelerators and related concepts to help solve industry challenges, including identifying and on-boarding industry partners who can support programmes through investment and in-kind expertise or facilities.
  • Oversee the day-to-day running of the CPC portfolio of accelerators, including managing the individual team members, partners, scheduling, operations and programme communications.
  • Help with organising and running accelerator events and coordinating across the programmes.
  • Oversee the processes for outreach, sourcing and selection to find the next best SMEs to join our programmes.
  • Develop and evolve the wider SME community offerings to develop a sense of community within individual accelerators and across the portfolio, including ‘alumni’ relations.
  • Oversee Marketing and Communications with managing the programme’s online presence across website, blog and social channels, including finding compelling content ideas, planning with a possibility of writing content.
  • Develop and own key relationships with other members of the eco-system, such as investors, corporates, mentors and coaches.
  • You may be required to undertake any other reasonable tasks commensurate with this role and/or within your capability to enable the Catapult to realise its strategic objectives.


Required skills and experience

  • Managing cross disciplinary teams to deliver complex, high-impact accelerator programmes in challenging sectors.
  • Experience of running both teams and project delivery, including excellence in team building and person management skills.
  • Actively shares knowledge and serves as a best practice resource to team by keeping abreast of market trends, opportunities or challenges
  • Hands on experience developing accelerator concepts from the ground up that help address the barriers to innovating SMEs working in mobility and smart cities or analogous sectors.
  • Experience and knowledge of SME ecosystem across the UK, in particular those with relevance to data and technology in mobility and smart cities.
  • Experience of presenting to individuals and groups including at board level and senior external stakeholders.
  • A proven ability to lead and work as a member of a team, influencing a variety of stakeholders across the spectrum of industry, academia and government.
  • The ability and knowledge to successfully match businesses with the most appropriate support.
  • A comprehensive knowledge of different sources of finance, both grant and commercial.
  • Experience of working with different types of organisations including corporate, academic and public sector.
  • A structured approach to delivering a programme of work to a consistently high standard.
  • Experience of managing a small team to deliver complex and high-value accelerator programmes.


Desirable Skills and Experience

  • Qualified to degree level
  • Experience of commercial bids, proposals and tenders
  • Knowledge of virtual delivery and CRM tools
  • Knowledge of community support platforms and tools.
  • Demonstrable prior experience working in a business engagement role.


Personal Characteristics

  • High level of organisation and time management – the ability to get things done!
  • A keen interest in working in the tech and transport industry
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment
  • Impeccable attention to detail
  • Good writing skills
  • Right to work in the UK
  • Self-starter and motivator
  • Excellent person organisational skills, with the ability to prioritise your own work, and coordinate the work of other team members within the wider programmes.
  • The capability to work autonomously and as part of a team. You should be a real self-starter who is able to make things happen.
  • Excellent inter-personal relationship skills, and the ability to influence others.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with fluency in English an essential requirement of this role.
  • Familiar with MS Office and Excel



  • Working with SMEs and stakeholders in an incubator/accelerator environment
  • Experience working within the mobility, urban planning, architecture, built environment, cities/local authorities, digital technology or related domains would be highly advantageous.
  • Knowledge of the financial and practical support available to SMEs.
  • Passionate about SME development
  • Experience of working in a startup

Apply for this job