Accelerator Programme FAQs

These frequently asked questions will help guide you through the application process for the Accelerator Programme. They may be updated before each new round opens so please read before applying. 

What is the Alzheimer's Society Accelerator Programme?

Alzheimer’s Society Accelerator Programme is designed to support people in developing and accelerating their product and service innovations to deliver help and hope to people living with dementia, including the loved ones supporting them.

We work together with innovators, engineers, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, people living with dementia, academics, health and social care professionals – anyone with a good idea or innovation – to develop them at speed and get them to market.

To bring your innovation to life, we are offering investment up to a value of £100,000 along with business support from expert innovators and engaging with experts with lived experience of dementia.

Applicants’ ideas can be a product or a service which, during the 12 months, will be developed to ensure that it will improve the lives of people affected by dementia and is ready to scale up to support larger groups of people.

What does 'Accelerator' actually mean?

In general, an ‘accelerator’, sometimes referred to as a ‘seed’ or ‘start up’ accelerator, is a business programme that supports early-stage, growth-driven companies through education, mentorship and financing.

Startups, entrepreneurs, or anyone with a good idea, typically enter accelerators for a fixed period of time and as part of a cohort of companies.

Completing the application

Alzheimer’s Society will accept applications from academics, designers, innovators, entrepreneurs, or anyone with an idea that could help improve the lives of people affected by dementia.

The Accelerator Programme is open to all UK residents over the age of 18 and the idea must be developed in the UK.

Alzheimer’s Society Accelerator Programme will not accept applications from:

  • The panel of judges who review applications, whether internal or external to Alzheimer’s Society
  • Alzheimer’s Society employees who provide ongoing support to the successful applicants during the Accelerator Programme (e.g., relevant members of the Innovation team)
  •  Individuals involved in the administration of the programme.
  • Individuals closely connected to the above i.e. relative, member of household, close friend or business associate.

We welcome applications from Alzheimer’s Society employees or volunteers that are not part of the excluded groups listed above and meet the application criteria. 

  1. The Accelerator Programme is open for applications on Wednesday 30 August 2023 at midday and closes on Wednesday 4 October 2023 at 11:59pm.
  2. Complete the application form, to be submitted by Microsoft Forms. Make sure you've thought about the intricacies of your idea, and really focus on the benefits for people affected by dementia. N.B. The application form includes a video submission.

The application form will be available through our Accelerator Programme page.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications via post or email, and you won’t be able to amend your application once it has been submitted.

If you require reasonable adjustments at any stage of our application process, please contact [email protected].

No, they are not.

  • Alzheimer’s Society Accelerator Programme identifies, funds and fosters innovations and inventions that can improve the lives of people living with dementia. 
  • It is designed to support people in developing and accelerating their product and service innovations to deliver help and hope to people living with dementia.
  • We work together with innovators, engineers, designers, developers, entrepreneurs, people living with dementia, , academics, health and social care professionals – anyone with a good idea or innovation – to develop them at speed and get them to market.
  • The Accelerator Programme offers up to £100,000 of investment along with business support from expert innovators and active engagement from experts with lived experience of dementia.
  • The Accelerator Programme lasts for 12-months with potential for a continuing relationship with Alzheimer’s Society.  
  • The Accelerator Programme provides a unique support offering that includes Alzheimer’s Society and its teams, but also experts including from our Innovation Collective which is made up of people living with dementia and experts across the dementia and innovation worlds. 
  • All of this helps to accelerate solutions to deliver help and hope to people living with dementia. 

The Longitude Prize on Dementia is a £4.34 million prize to drive the creation of personalised, technology-based tools that are co-created with people who are living with the early stages of dementia, helping them live independently for longer.

£3.42 million will be awarded in seed funding and development grants to the most promising solutions, with a £1 million first prize to be awarded in 2026. Applications to the Longitude Prize on Dementia are now closed.

A total of £1.9m has been awarded to 24 pioneering teams of developers, researchers and innovators from across the globe in the international challenge competition, which is funded by Alzheimer’s Society and Innovate UK, and delivered by Challenge Works.

Visit the Challenge Works Longitude Prize page for more details.

‘Innovation’ just means developing or applying a new solution to a problem, where there wasn’t a solution before. We want to support any product or service that will help to improve the lives of people living with dementia.

We are looking for applications at any stage of the product development journey, from a great idea that needs testing through to proven products that need a push to maximise their reach.

We recommend that you focus on one application for the programme. If you want to discuss several ideas, please contact us at [email protected], and we will advise you further.

Support from the programme

We know that bringing a great idea to life and making it grow is not just about the money. In addition to financial support, each successful applicant will receive support from the Innovation team, who will help guide you through the process. What's included:

The support from the Innovation team is not defined and will be flexible to meet your needs; this may include: 

  • Guiding you through the process of bringing your idea to life - by acting as a sounding board for ideas, offering advice on project management and innovation tools, developing, testing and improving your idea.
  • Helping you access people living with dementia to develop and test your product or service - by sharing expertise on how to evaluate your product and helping you reach people affected by dementia to hear their views.
  • Helping you access the wider support that Alzheimer’s Society can offer - for example, by providing access to the Alzheimer’s Society Innovation online communities to test ideas, and supporting marketing and communications for your product.

It will be up to you to manage and drive your project and take forward your business for your product or service – but the Innovation team is there to support you in making your innovation a success. 

Other things to consider

At this stage of the application process you do not need to set up a company, however if you are successful in becoming one of our Accelerator Programme partners you will be required to set up as a company prior to entering into a collaboration agreement with Alzheimer's Society.

You will need to commit to working on your project at least two days a week. When you do this is completely flexible and can be in the evenings and on weekends. However, meetings with the Innovation team will take place within standard working hours.

Yes, if you are able to commit at least two days a week to the project and meet the targets in your proposed business plan.

Yes, applicants can apply to work on their idea as a team or as an individual, if all applicants are committed to working on the project.

We encourage applicants to think about the skills and expertise needed to both initially get their business off the ground and for its continued growth and success. 

Although we accept individual applicants, in most cases, founders will need support from team members, advisors or consultants to be able to achieve success.

You can use your time during the programme to build out this network both by gaining bro-bono support through our Innovation Collective and by paying for support as part of your budget. We will favour applications from individuals and teams who have reflected on the skills they have and those they may require. 

We use a video upload platform called Seenit to gather the video element of Accelerator Partner applications.

You can film directly in Seenit or upload your own pre-recorded video.

Please note: people living with dementia form part of the judging process, so videos should ideally be under 2 minutes in length and no longer than 3 minutes.

In your video, please answer the following questions (all recorded as one video and with the questions displayed):

  1. Tell us your name, your team name (if applicable) and the name of your innovation.
  2. Explain the problem you are looking to solve.
  3. Show us the solution you are developing - get creative!


Top tips

  1. Like many of us, you may not be used to being on camera. Simple things like smiling, taking a deep breath or writing notes can help.
  2. Watch your clips before uploading them. This sounds simple, and it is, but this will help you check for any issues and ensure you're happy with what you're sharing.
  3. Do your best to look at the camera lens, but do not worry if you are not comfortable doing so.
  4. Be aware of light and shadow. Not enough light isn't good, nor is too much. Try to find a light spot around your home or a good time of day to film.
  5. Be aware of sound. Try to avoid echoes or noisy spots, and always watch your clips back before uploading to check that you can hear what needs to be audible.


After applying

Alzheimer’s Society will review and shortlist applications between October and November 2023. At this stage we may need to request further information from you. Shortlisting will be based on a number of criteria, such as:

  • How innovative and original the idea is.
  • Your reasoning for why your product or service is needed and how people living with dementia were/are to be included in your plans for the design. 
  • The impact the idea could have for people living with dementia.
  •  How desirable the idea is for people living with dementia.
  • How easily the idea can be scaled up to improve the lives of large groups of people.

All unsuccessful applicants will be notified.

The shortlist will then be invited to interview and to present in front of a panel of people with lived experience of dementia, and then industry experts who will decide which applicants to accept into the programme. 

Successful applicants will be notified by January 2024. Wider announcement of the new partners will take place by May 2024.

Alzheimer’s Society will work closely with successful applicants to establish the terms of our investment including an agreed return on this investment in order to ensure our Accelerator Programme remains sustainable and can continue to invest in ideas that will help people living with dementia.

Award of funding is subject to entering into an agreement which will be negotiated between Alzheimer’s Society and the successful applicant.

We aim to agree terms with successful applicants in early 2024 and begin investment and joint working from April 2024.

Alzheimer’s Society and successful applicants will discuss intellectual property and future revenues arrangements before an investment is made and the partnership begins. 

Yes, your application will be reviewed only by the panels of judges as well as members of the Alzheimer’s Society Innovation team.  

By submitting the application, applicants agree that if successful, information about the successful applicant and their product/idea may be publicised on our website and elsewhere (such as in relevant media).

Successful applicants will be awarded the amount agreed to be paid as per the schedule of payments, equal instalments will be paid every 3 months. Any requests to vary the payment schedule would require advance notice and consideration prior to both parties entering into the collaboration agreement.

At the start of the project, we will spend a day with you developing your business plan and discussing the critical milestones of your project. Partners will be expected to provide monthly reports of progress throughout the programme. 

If you submit an idea based on a product, you must invest the funding in developing your idea so it will improve the lives of people living with dementia. For example, by improving the design of your product, manufacturing prototypes for testing or evaluating your product etc. 

If you submit an idea based on a service, you must invest the funding in developing your idea so it will improve the lives of people living with dementia. For example, by improving the design of your service, setting up prototype sessions of the service and refining it based on feedback from people affected by dementia, evaluating of the service etc.

You will need to clearly set out in your business plan how you intend to invest the funding and why.

After the 12-month partnership

If your idea is a product and the impact on people living with dementia has proved to be positive, we may be able to support you in finding funding to bring the idea to market and make it commercially viable.

If your idea is a service and the impact on people living with dementia has proved to be positive, we may be able to support you to identify suitable organisations to help the roll out of your service across the country.

Alzheimer’s Society may continue to support you in a less formal way following the 12-month partnership. 

Following the 12-month partnership you will be required to continue to provide monthly reports to Alzheimer’s Society for the time period stated within the agreement.

Monthly reports will include details of sales, qualitative feedback to demonstrate impact of the product/service and any additional data as required to enable the Innovation team to monitor the success of invested products/services and track the return on Alzheimer’s Society investment. 

If you find additional investors during the partnership, this information should be shared with Alzheimer's Society and agreement will be required prior to entering any further partnerships. 

We are happy for successful applicants to communicate that they are part of the Alzheimer’s Society Accelerator Programme.

However, you may not use Alzheimer’s Society branding to support your product or service. A separate brand licensing agreement would need to be made with Alzheimer’s Society.

Any other questions?

Please contact Alzheimer’s Society Innovation team at [email protected].

Please also take a look at or join our Webinar Series. Recordings will be available and shared to refer to during the application process.

We reserve the right to amend or cancel the application process and/or programme. 


Please note, this FAQ page is currently being reviewed. We reserve the right to vary the responses to the FAQs. If applicants are successful, the collaboration agreement will be discussed with all parties and will outline the exact terms.

Contact us

Have you got any questions about applying for the Accelerator Programme? If you need more information, please contact our Innovation team.

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