Launchpad returns to Subcon 2021

A dedicated area, open to eight start-ups or entrepreneurs keen to showcase innovation will feature at Subcon 2021. Entries close 1 August 2021

After a powerful launch in 2019, The Launchpad and Launchpad Awards are returning for a second year to Subcon 2021, the UK’s premier subcontract manufacturing supply chain show taking place 14-16 September at Birmingham’s NEC.

The Launchpad and Launchpad Awards are dedicated to providing start-ups and entrepreneurs throughout the sector with a valuable platform for sharing innovation and earning much-needed recognition and brand awareness among thousands of engineering and manufacturing professionals.

To qualify, businesses must be under three years old with a product or service that relates to engineering and/or manufacturing. Up to eight businesses will be given a free stand in the Launchpad area at the show, offered expert advice and marketing support and automatically entered into the 2021 Launchpad Awards. Applications are open now and close 1st August 2021.

Launchpad Award participants will be allocated a five-minute slot to present their innovation to a panel of expert judges including Subcon event director Gordon Kirk and chair Jon Excell. Taking place during Subcon, the winner will be announced at the show and receive a free stand on the main show floor at Subcon 2022 worth £10,000, plus ongoing PR and marketing support to help increase brand awareness.

Judging panel chair Jon Excell said: “We’re very excited about the return of the Launchpad competition. Its debut in 2019 uncovered some truly inspirational and potentially game-changing UK engineering innovators and disruptors spanning a range of sectors, so we’re really looking forward to welcome it back and seeing this year’s crop of entries.”

Winner of the 2019 Launchpad Award, Dr Joe Handsaker, CEO of Elements Technology, said: “Launchpad at Subcon enabled us to establish a network that has been vital over the past year; not only did we develop valuable leads, but the expert guidance has made a real difference. My advice to start-ups is to seize the opportunity presented by the Launchpad and enter now, it’s an amazing opportunity to accelerate the growth of your business.

“Elements Technology will be present on the main floor at Subcon this September on the stand we won at the 2019 Launchpad Awards. We look forward to visiting the Launchpad and seeing the leaps in innovation that have been under wraps over the last two years and which we believe have the potential to shape the future of industry.”

For visitors attending September’s Subcon, the Launchpad is an opportunity to view leading-edge innovation which can drive up productivity and boost competitiveness. Visitor registration is open now at and this year’s event is co-located with The Engineer Expo and Manufacturing Management.

Subcon event director Gordon Kirk: “Young businesses have faced extraordinary challenges as they have sought to bring ingenuity to market over the past year. It’s important that Subcon continues to provide a platform that focuses on the next generation of innovators and showcases their contribution to the future of industry and the UK’s global competitiveness.

“Subcon is a strategic opportunity for companies throughout the manufacturing supply chain to meet face-to-face, reconnect and secure business growth and a timely and unique platform for any UK manufacturers looking to source or develop a robust and localised network of UK supply chain partners.”

The closing date for entries is 1 August 2021, more information can be found at: