Entrepreneur and investor Ash Rust offers Trafford College students £1,000 grant for start-up business ideas in the North West

by india

Ash Rust, Lancaster-born entrepreneur and investor will be visiting Trafford College this week to speak to our students about his new initiative and to encourage applications into The Sterling Road Grant Fund.

Early-stage founders and startups in the North West of England are being invited to apply for a new grant programme spearheaded by Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Sterling Road. 

The initiative is the brainchild of managing partner Ash Rust, a native Lancastrian, turned entrepreneur and investor. The Sterling Road Grant Fund programme will provide £1,000 grants to founders with promising business ideas or companies — with the goal of jump-starting or supporting each project. For the next three years minimum, the programme will see 25 companies per year across such sectors as technology, SaaS, FinTech, and more.

Rust is keen to directly reinvest in the North West, where he has too often crossed paths with under-estimated founders, who might have additional challenges when seeking loans or financing. 

“As a born and bred Northerner, I know that the North West of England has a deep pool of talent and creativity, but lacks access to capital. Our hope is that initial grant winners continue their growth where Sterling Road can invest multiple times long term. I want to grab this opportunity to give back.”

The grant process involves a simple online application at www.sterlingroad.com/NWGrant with a short 2-minute video pitching your idea or business. You do not need a pitch deck to apply; simply share how your big idea solves a meaningful problem for customers.      

Shortlisted applicants will then have a Zoom interview with Rust and his team, with the first winners onboarded from July 2022. The grants have no restrictions and can be used to purchase equipment, advertise, hire, or pay the bills needed to launch your idea forward.

Rust will visit Trafford College on Thursday 16th June to give an inspiring insight to our students of the world of investment and business. Rust will be talking to the students about the grant in hopes to interest our students, and will be offering face-to-face pitch opportunities on the day.