Venture capital firms in the UK & London
Find the right investor with our list of UK venture capital firms with their targeting criteria, investment levels, portfolio companies and contact information
James Pursey | Updated May 6, 2021 | Published November 29, 2012
Within the UK there are a significant number of venture capital firms, providing funding to support the growth of businesses with potential to disrupt markets and become industry leaders. British venture capital has been and continues to be at the forefront of providing financing to some of the world’s most innovative companies, including Transferwise, Revolut, Improbable, Skype and Spotify to name a few.
What is venture capital?
Venture capital is a form of private equity investment, where a business receives unsecured funding in exchange for a share of its equity. The aim of venture capital as a field is to make investments in early and mid-stage companies with an aim of profitably exiting their investment at a later stage (usually within 5-10 years).
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Venture capital is seen as a high risk asset class, as the majority of VC investments fail. This high rate of failure is factored into the investment model of venture capitalists, the typical aim of a VC fund is for 1 in 10 investments to be exited profitably, with that exit/s being so profitable that it cancels losses made on the funds other investments and produces a healthy return for the venture capital firm and its investors (a VC can have multiple funds investing in different areas / stages of business).
Venture capital can be a great source of finance for businesses, however getting venture capitalists to invest in a company or startup can also be one of the biggest challenges an entrepreneur can face. With this in mind and to help you find the right potential VC investor, below we’ve put together a detailed list of active venture capital firms operating in the UK and London.
List of UK venture capital firms
London Venture Partners
LVP invests exclusively in online, social, mobile and tablet games. They’ve built their entire team and expertise specifically for this sector. In other words – they know the game industry well, and you should probably speak to them if that’s your thing.
Location / Targeting: London / London
Investment Level: Not specified, but they do everything from pre-seed funding to Series A, so we guess 50k up to a few million.
Portfolio Companies: Omnidrone, Unity, Playraven. Full Portfolio here.
SPARK looks to invest in TMT (technology, media and telecom) and healthcare businesses in the UK with disruptive business models. They do a lot of early-stage deals but can and have invested at any stage.
Location / Targeting: London / UK
Investment Level: £500k – £2m with subsequent follow-up funding.
Portfolio Companies: Firebox, Mind Candy. Full Portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: All contacts and emails listed here.
EC1 Capital invest in mobile and web technology companies. They invest across the full spectrum including Seed, Bridging and Series A. They also have these awesome Open Office hours, where anybody can book a slot to pitch or get advice.
Location / Targeting: London / London, Dublin, Edinburgh
Investment Level: Seed & bridging – up to £200k (syndicated up to £1m). Series A – £200k to £1m.
Portfolio Companies: Lifecake, Toothpick, evvnt.
Connect Ventures is an early-stage VC firm helping founders built product-centric startups, from finding the right market fit to scaling their efforts. They limit their investments on their own areas of expertise, which include mobile, Internet and digital media businesses.
Although mainly investing in European startups, they do understand that some of their companies are likely to move to the US as they grow.
Location / Targeting: London / Europe
Investment Level: £300K-£600k. They don’t mind investing alongside other VCs and generally, keep some cash in reserve so they can participate in follow-up rounds.
Portfolio Companies: Boiler Room, Soldo, Unmade. Full portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: You can find their address on the site. The team prefers if you reach out either via their network or directly to one of them.
Beacon Capital previously known as AngelLab, Beacon’s main focus is on B2B, SaaS-based business models. Typically reluctant to get invest outside of their core themes, they’ll do so only if there’s an ‘exceptionally strong reason to do so’. Interestingly enough, apart from the company’s ability to demonstrate traction, they also expect the CTO to be a significant stakeholder in the company if they are to get involved.
Location / Targeting: London / UK
Targeting: SaaS, E-commerce, Online marketplaces
Investment Level: £200k – £2m
Portfolio Companies: Adbrain, Azimo, Flypay, MOVE Guides, Seedrs, Shopa. See website for full portfolio.
Contact/Apply: You can contact Beacon Capital here.
Pentech invests in technology companies that are disrupting social media, eCommerce, digital media, mobile, SaaS and more. In other words, they like their tech and they’re all about opportunity. If you have a rock-solid team and a technical product in an interesting space, check these guys out.
Location / Targeting: London, Edinburgh / UK, Ireland
Investment Level: £500k – £4m
Portfolio Companies: Full Portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: You’ll find all the contact info on this link.
Episode1 is a no-frills investor focusing on seed and early stage investment. It is one of the UK Government’s Enterprise Capital Funds – set up to support fund managers who invest in small, high-growth, software-driven businesses.
With Episode1, entrepreneurs have the chance to turn their UK-based software businesses into fast-scaling companies built to grow into significant and valuable entities.
Location / Targeting: London / UK
Investment Level: £0.25m to £1m in rounds of up to £2m.
Portfolio Companies: Touch Surgery, Global App Testing, CarWow – you can see a full list of their portfolio companies on their portfolio page here.
Contact/Apply: Episode1 has a straightforward, user-friendly form. Fill it in so you can have a chat with the team during one of their Open Office events. You can also e-mail them, or visit their contact page.
Pro founders Capital
Pro founders are a VC fund powered by entrepreneurs. Their investors and principles have built some of Europe’s most successful companies including lastminute.com, Bebo and TopTable. They’re looking for capital efficient early stage tech & digital media companies.
Location / Targeting: London / Europe
Investment Level: £500k – £2.5m with the scope to support follow-on funding.
Portfolio Companies: made.com, TweetDeck, easyCar.
Contact/Apply: All contact details can be found on their site.
Passion Capital is a tech-focused investment firm with a pretty impressive portfolio. They haven’t been around long but having been set up by the first angel investor in last.fm, they’ve taken off pretty damn quickly.
Location / Targeting: London / UK
Investment Level: 250K+
Portfolio Companies: adzuna, DueDil, Thread. Full Portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: They occasionally hold Open Office hours which are announced on their Twitter page and can be contacted via individual emails (not provided on the site). However, an intro through a mutual connection is preferred.
MMC state on their website that they do not invest in startups, they also avoid capital intensive businesses so if you’re either of those things look away now. MMC want fast growing businesses with commercial traction and growing revenues particularly in media internet, financial services and software.
Location / Targeting: London / UK
Investment Level: £500k – £4m
Portfolio Companies: Bottica, LoveHomeSwap. Full Portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: All contact details can be found here.
Hoxton Ventures are a $40,000,000 early stage/seed investment company, investing in technology (internet and software) across any country that sings in the Eurovision contest. Investing mid-length (7-10 years), Hoxton are prepared to help back the company for a large portion of its early life.
Location / Targeting: London / Europe
Investment Level: $250,000 – $2,000,000 seed and early stage investment.
Portfolio Companies: Numerai, Andela
Contact/Apply: You could E-mail them your completed business plan, or visit the bottom of any page on their website here.
Initial Capital is a seed and early-stage investment company specialising in consumer services, mobile software and games. They have offices in London and Silicon Valley, and will not just try to help you by investing money, but also by finding the best possible team for you and your product.
Location / Targeting: UK, Europe and U.S.A.
Investment Level: Amount on application
Portfolio Companies: Super Evil MegaCorp, Supercell , App Gyver – you can see a full list of their portfolio companies on their main web page.
Contact/Apply: If you have a business idea that fits one of their core themes, they’d love to hear from you. Here’s their e-mail.
With offices in both London and Moscow, Supremum Capital focuses on seed investments in FinTech, Internet and Real Estate sectors, and provides advisory services to their portfolio companies. If you’re trying to break into the CIS region, Supremum also boasts access to a wide network of investors and entrepreneurs within Europe and Russia.
Location / Targeting: London / Europe & Russia
Investment Level: Unspecified; the VC firm sources capital from a variety of places, including banks, high net worth individuals and private equity funds.
Portfolio Companies: Atosho, Inplat, Webbankir. More from their portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: Their contact page provides information about both their London and Moscow office.
Ariadne Capital act as both advisors and investors, together or independently of each other. They’ve had a hand in many successful companies including Skype and Monitise. From an investment perspective, they’re targeting B2B tech startups focused on industries like health, transportation and financial services.
Location / Targeting: London / UK
Investment Level: £250k – £1m
Portfolio Companies: Quill, Clickslide. Full Portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: Contact details here.
Anthemis Group is a venture investment and advisory firm, focused on startups trying to reinvent the financial sector for the digital world. The team has invested worldwide, most notably within UK and Europe, for a current total tally of 31 companies. They limit their investments to a variety of FinTech sectors, including retail and corporate banking, consumer finance, payments, insurance and risk management and more.
Location / Targeting: London / Global
Investment Level: Unspecified; the team participates in both seed, early and late-stage investments.
Portfolio Companies: Betterment, eShares, Seedcamp.
Contact/Apply: For the Group’s contact information, head over to their contact page.
Originally founded in 1996, the Crescent Capital focuses on empowering Northern Ireland-based companies, predominantly those operating within the IT, manufacturing and life science sectors.
One of the company’s executives typically joins the investee’s board, acting as a non-executive director.
Location / Targeting: Northern Ireland / UK
Investment Level: £450k-£1.2m initially, with a limit of £3m per company across all funding rounds. The VC fund tends to exit their investment within 5-7 years.
Portfolio Companies: Analytics Engines, Nisoft, Speech Storm. A portfolio of their current, realised and past investments can be found here.
Mercia Asset Management
Mercia is one of the most active regional investors focused on uncovering the hidden value from across the UK regions.
The team helps to scale innovative businesses across the UK by providing venture, debt and private equity using its ‘Connected Capital’. In addition to investing funds on behalf of large institutions, Mercia also raises its own EIS and VCT Funds.
The Group has more than 400 businesses in its portfolio, a strong record including 11 IPOs, and has approximately £0.7billion of assets under management.
Location / Targeting: UK / UK
Investment Level: Mercia can invest between £50,000 to £10 million, as well as provision of scale-up capital through Mercia Asset Management PLC, which can invest up to £10.0million using its balance sheet capital.
Portfolio Companies: nDreams, Oxford Genetics and The Native Antigen. More of their investees here.
Contact/Apply: The Mercia website provides contact details for both investors through its Investor Relations page and entrepreneurs can find a wealth of information across the site here.
Par Equity is a Scottish-based hands-on investment fund. By working with an advisory board of successful entrepreneurs and investors, they aim to bring a wealth of knowledge under the ‘Par Umbrella’, helping you unlock your entrepreneurial potential. As if they didn’t have enough on their plate, Par Equity also provide an Angel Syndicate.
Location / Targeting: Scotland / UK
Investment Level: Unspecified seed and early-stage investments for small to medium-sized businesses.
Portfolio: Covec, miiCard, KILTR – a full list can be seen here.
Contact/Apply: Par Equity have clear submission guidelines listed on the site. If your company’s shoe fits, you can submit your application for initial review. They also have a handy web form for general inquiries and other contact details here.
Ballpark Ventures are a small, personal London-based investment fund that invest their own money into seed and early-stage start ups. Primarily focusing on media, retail and technology, given their expertise in the field(s).
Location / Targeting: UK / UK
Investment Level: Unspecified Seed and Series A funding.
Portfolio Companies: Borro, Zopa, Bullion Vault – a full list can be found here.
Contact/Apply: The only way to pique their interest at the moment is via a trusted third-party referral. In their own words: ‘Find someone we know and respect, tell them about your company and ask them to recommend that we take a look. It’s that simple.’
JamJar Investments are the guys behind Innocent (a huge do-good, feel-good drinks company in the UK). Bringing these principles to the VC world, they aim to help bring your company up from an initial base to a major organisation, with your customers at the forefront. Backing consumer-based companies with both offline and online services.
Location / Targeting: UK / UK
Investment Level: Seed, early and later-stage funding from £150,000 – £1,000,000
Portfolio Companies: Graze, Toucan Box, Pop Chips.
Contact/Apply: The folks at JamJar were cool enough to provide you with a clear set of investment criteria and a handy guide on exactly how to pitch them. Once you read that, you can apply on their contact page here.
White Star Capital
White Star Capital (not to get confused with White Star Investments), are a seed and early-stage investment company for digital and mobile technology startups. With worldwide connections, they can help your company go global.
Location / Targeting: London / Europe & America
Investment Level: Seed and early-stage funding from $500k to $5m.
Portfolio Companies: Key Me, DICE, Dollar Shave Club – a full list can be seen here.
Contact/Apply: Their Team page has each investor’s individual as well as company contact details.
Catering to all UK startups, with a particular bias towards Cambridge and East Anglia, Martlet provides small sums of capital to high-tech startups, typically involved with software, electronics, HealthTech and similar. The angels focus on businesses with at least some form of market defensibility, with high ambitions for growth. Other than capital, they pledge their support, expertise and valuable contacts.
Location: Cambridge Targeting: UK
Investment Level: £10K to £100K of initial seed funding; Martlet almost always co-invests with other funds and private investors, with a follow-up potential in later investment rounds.
Portfolio Companies: Converge, Repositive, Artfinder. Check out their complete portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: There’s a simple application form for startups to fill on their website.
With offices in both London and Shanghai, Conduit Ventures manage two separate funds and sources most of their capital from industrial groups, institutional investors and sovereign wealth funds.
They specialise in high-efficiency energy generation and storage, particularly focusing on low-carbon tech, fuel cells, hydrogen and more.
Location: London Targeting: OECD and select Asian countries
Investment Level: Not specified; the fund is neutral when it comes to the investment stage, and will consider both early and late-stage investment opportunities.
Portfolio Companies: Heliocentris, Protonex, Walfuel. Check out more of their portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: They have a detailed contact page with information on both of their offices.
Walking Ventures are a seed and early stage no-nonsense investment company. Investing in technology and internet companies while differentiating with a more personalised approach to investing.
Location: London Targeting: UK | Europe
Investment Level: Target investment is £500K out of a £1m round, where they lead the financing, set the terms, find and bring in co-investors, and take a board seat.
Portfolio Companies: You can check out Walking Ventures active investments on their home page.
Contact/Apply: You can reach them via this page.
Sussex Place Ventures
Sussex place ventures are a London-based venture capital firm, focusing on information technology and businesses with patent-protected tech. With close ties to the London Business School, they ought to know the right people to put you in contact with.
Location: London, UK Targeting: UK
Investment Level: up to £1,000,000 in seed and early stage funding. They also like to follow their money and invest more over the company’s lifetime.
Portfolio Companies: Sine Wave Entertainment, Infinitesima, Skimlinks – the complete list is available here.
Contact/Apply: Their contact details are featured in the upper right corner of every page. In case you missed it, there’s also a separate contact page.
SaatchInvest are a team of 4 early-stage investors with a very simple ethos – they want to back ‘great entrepreneurs’. SaatchInvest help products get to market quicker by investing in micro VC stage.
Location: London, England Targeting: UK
Investment Level: typically £100-£300k per deal, seed and early stage investment.
Portfolio Companies: Evrythng, TouchCast, Hatch – you can see a full list of their portfolio companies on their website.
Contact/Apply: You can e-mail them, or check out the map to their HQ on the bottom of the site. If you have a prototype that you can send over, they don’t mind playing with it.
Forward Partners is a relatively new VC team established in late 2013 and based in London. That being said, they’ve already invested in some pretty exciting companies. Forward partners specialise in helping eCommerce platforms dominate their niche.
Location: London Targeting: UK
Investment Level: Incubators, seed level support and funding.
Portfolio Companies: Appear Here, Lexoo, Lost My Name.
Contact/Apply: ‘Get in Touch’ form can be here.
Based in the village of Harwell in Oxford, Longwall Venture Partners currently manage two funds – their own £40m enterprise capital fund, along with an additional £30m Oxford Technology capital fund. Focusing on healthcare, engineering and science start-ups.
Location: Oxford Targeting: UK
Investment Level: Seed and Early-stage investment.
Portfolio: Crysalin, Ibexis, MicroVisc – a full list can be seen here.
Contact/Apply: There is a contact form here, or more contact details can be found here.
Frontline Ventures is a London and Dublin-based early-stage fund with a focus on seed and Series A internet/software companies.
Location: London Targeting: Europe
Investment Level: 100K – 2.5M EU
Portfolio Companies: CurrencyFair, Boxever, Orchestrate, Drop, Logentries, Qstream, Boxfish
Contact/Apply: All contact details can be found here.
Wellington Partners focuses on digital media and butt-based software. They have an amazing portfolio and operate all over the world.
Location: London, Munich, Zurich, Palo Alto Targeting: Worldwide
Investment Level: Not specified but they do Seed all the way through to Series A.
Portfolio Companies: HailO, Dropbox, importio. Full Portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: Send your exec summary here.
EcoMachines Ventures is a London-based VC fund that makes seed and follow-on investments in innovative pan-European B2B hardware companies.
They foster the development of world-class technology in the energy, transport, circular economy, smart city and industrial high-tech sectors.
Location: London, England Targeting: UK, Europe, CIS, Israel
Investment Level: They invest up to £500K at the seed stage and up to £2m for mid/later stage investments
Portfolio Companies: Recycling Technologies, Q-Bot, NIS, Rotary EcoMachines, PDE, Autorose.
Contact/Apply: Contact the team here.
Playfair Capital are a London-based firm which backs technology and consumer based start-ups as an early stage investor. As well as running a co-working space in London, which they house more than ten early stage startups, as well as the London base of the Techstars accelerator programme.
Location: London, England Targeting: UK, Europe, USA and Africa
Investment Level: £30,00 – £300,000 seed and early stage investment with an average of £100,000.
Portfolio Companies: DueDil, Mixlr, F6S – you can see a full list of their portfolio companies on their main webpage here.
Contact/Apply: Playfair have a wonderful ‘Pitch Us’ page, which allows you to use one of the companies they’ve invested in to submit your business plan. Alternatively you could E-Mail them, or fill in a handy little webform on the bottom of any page.
Scottish Equity Partners (SEP)
Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) backs the best high growth technology businesses across the UK & Ireland and beyond. It has €1 billion under management and one of the longest and strongest venture capital track records in Europe having invested in over 150 companies over the last 20 years.
Location: Glasgow, London, Edinburgh Targeting: UK
Investment Level: Up to £20m
Portfolio Companies: You can find the full portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: SEP has a user-friendly contact form that you can find here.
Notion Capital is a venture capital firm with more than $500m assets under management, investing in European SaaS and enterprise technology, with more than 60 investments to date. The Notion team founded, built and exited two highly successful SaaS businesses – Star and MessageLabs – and invests exclusively in enterprise tech and SaaS with the ambition to build global category leaders.
Location: London Targeting: Europe
Investment Level: Series A+
Portfolio Companies: Mews, GoCardless and Dixa. Full Portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: Ping an email over to email@example.com.
MVM Life Science Partners LLP
MVM invest in emerging healthcare companies since 1998. Managing funds totaling over $600 million. Focus on venture capital & growth equity investments. Investment team of seven people located in London and Boston. MVM has invested in biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, drug delivery, gene therapy, healthcare IT, healthcare services, medical devices, medical imaging, OTC medicines, research tools and vaccines.
Location: London, Boston Targeting: Europe, America
Investment Level: $5-20m
Portfolio Companies: Exits include BioVex, Aegerion, Momenta, PregLem, Domantis. Active portfolio listed here.
Contact/Apply: You can contact Hugo Harrod at firstname.lastname@example.org for UK investments.
Augmentum Capital was formed in London in 2009 where Jacob Rothschild and family were substantial investors. They typically back early and late stage ventures, but want to stay with the business for as long as possible.
Location: London, England Targeting: UK
Investment Level: Mid and later stage, between £3,000,000 and £20,000,000
Portfolio Companies: Borro, Zopa, Bullion Vault – a full list can be found here.
Altitude is a specialist regional investor, with a limited focus on businesses thriving in Southern England. They have no stringent criteria when it comes to their investee’s current stage and success, although they do look for some level of defensibility, stable management teams and high qualities of earnings. They don’t discriminate against any particular sector, but don’t invest in start-up businesses or small management buy-ins.
Location: Southampton Targeting: Southern England
Investment Level:. Up to £3m in established businesses. Investments are typically a combination of equity and debt.
Portfolio Companies: Chameleon Worldwide Travel, The Care Division, Gradwell. No full portfolio specified.
Mosaic Ventures is a $140 million fund focused on Series A funding. To date, they have invested in over 70 companies across 10 different countries. They focus on several key areas, including marketplaces, SaaS for SMEs, next-gen finance and payments, analytics, education, health and bitcoins. They invest in ~10 companies a year.
Location: London Targeting: Europe, US
Investment Level: Unspecified Series A funding.
Portfolio Companies: Blockchain, Number Four, Guevara. Full portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: You can find the contact details on their website, along with the social media details of each of their team members.
Eight Roads Ventures (Formerly Fidelity Growth Partners Europe)
Eight Roads are looking for fast growing European tech businesses with aspirations of greatness. They want companies with an addressable market size in excess of €100m growing 20% year on year and they require you to have substantial revenue.
Location: London Targeting: Europe
Investment Level: €1m – €10m but they state they can exceed this for the right company.
Portfolio Companies: Seatwave, Wahanda, Innogames.
Contact/Apply: Contact page here.
Delta Partners targets early stage technology and MedTech companies. They’re pretty active and have made over 90 investments since they came onto the scene in 1994. Delta is very team focused.
Location: Dublin, London Targeting: UK, Ireland
Investment Level: Not specified.
Portfolio Companies: Betapond, BlikBook, fishtree. Full Portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: Delta does awesome 30-minute 1-to-1 sessions that you can book online here.
Connection Capital look to invest in UK companies with strong management teams that are already in profit. They’ve backed all sorts of companies from gyms to online businesses.
Location: London Targeting: UK
Investment Level: £2m – £7m
Portfolio Companies: PureGym, Wagamama. Full Portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: Send Connection Capital an E-mail.
Advent Venture Partners
Advent target tech & life sciences businesses in Europe. They’re looking for proven models focused on revenue growth. They’ve had some pretty chunky exits to date and really like to add value beyond just cash.
Location: London Targeting: Europe
Investment Level: Not specified.
Portfolio Companies: DailyMotion, Qype.
Google Ventures Europe
Google Ventures Europe provide seed, venture, and growth-stage funding to the companies that they deem the best, and not just worthy investments. With such an obvious company affiliate, they provide said companies unrivalled support in most aspects of running their business.
Location: London, England, Geneva CH, California & San Francisco, USA Targeting:UK, Europe, USA
Investment Level: Google Ventures have a unique way of investing, they ask you to apply to one of their individual investors personally and go from there.
Portfolio Companies: TuneIn, Buttercoin, HubSpot – you can see a full list of their portfolio companies on their portfolio page here.
Contact/Apply: Google Ventures are much like Chuck Norris, they will find you if you’re worthy.
Atomico is a growth stage international investment firm, founded by the co-founder of Skype.
Location: London, England, Sao Paolo, Beijing, Tokyo, Istanbul, Cayman Islands
Targeting: Europe, USA, Asia
Investment Level: Seed, early stage and later stage venture as well as private equity investors.
Portfolio Companies: Last.fm, Skype, Rovio.
Contact/Apply: There are several ways to contact them on their contact page here.
Doughty Hanson Technology Fund
Daughty Hanson Technology Fund is a private equity firm, with bases all across Europe. Investing in technology, manufacturing and internet based commerce. With over 26 years of experience in the field of venture capitalism and private equity.
Location: London, UK | Frankfurt, DE | Milan, IT | Stockholm, SE | Paris, FR | Luxembourg, LU | Madrid, ES
Investment Level: Long-term investments throughout the life of the company.
Portfolio Companies: Everbridge, MBA Polymers, Sound Butt – a list of past, and current portfolio companies can be found here.
Contact/Apply: All of the contact details, for Europe, are on this page here.
Frog Capital is a London-based firm (formerly Foursome) investing in IT, Digital Media & Resource Efficiency. Only in growth-stage companies where the growth is likely to generate ≥40%, specialising in rapid growth and assisting your company to get there.
Location: London, UK Targeting: Europe
Investment Level: Later-stage ventures, between £5,000,000 and £25,000,000
Portfolio Companies: Editd, Rated People, Ostara – an entire list can be found here.
Contact/Apply: You can visit their ‘Contact US’ page here.
Index are massive players in the investment world. They’ve invested in companies like Facebook, Just Eat and SoundButt so they know what they’re doing. In their own words they’re looking to support the founders of companies who are looking to be the Fortune 500 of the next 50 years.
Location: London, San Francisco, Geneva Targeting: Worldwide
Investment Level: Broad & seemingly unlimited. Everything from seed to massive VC rounds.
Portfolio Companies: Dropbox, Facebook, Skype. Full portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: You’ll find the contact details for your nearest Index offices here, just give them a call, make it count!
Accel is one of the big boys in venture capital, they invest into what they call ‘category-defining technology companies’ and who can argue with that given their impressive portfolio including Spotify, Facebook & Etsy.
Location: Silicon Valley, New York, London, Bangalore Targeting: Worldwide
Investment Level: Seemingly unlimited.
Portfolio Companies: Spotify, Lynda, Etsy.
Contact/Apply: All contact details are listed on their site here.
Octopus specialise in renewable energy, healthcare and property finance. They have a whopping £1.3b under management so invest substantial amounts. They say all of this on their website… but they’ve invested in Zoopla, yPlan, Secret Escapes & Graze, so they must be partial to a bit of tech too!
Location: London Targeting: UK
Investment Level: £250k – £100m.
Portfolio Companies: Secret Escapes, Zoopla.
Contact/Apply: You’ll find everything you need here.
DN capital invests in digital media, e-commerce, software and mobile applications. DN utilise the network effect and leverage their extensive global network to help catapult your business forwards.
Location: London, Palo Alto Targeting: UK, North America
Investment Level: 250,00 Euros – 10 million, later stage follow on available
Portfolio Companies: Shazam, Lovespace, Digital Chocolate. Full Portfolio here.
Balderton is one of the leading VC firms in Europe and focusses mainly on eCommerce, consumer internet and software. Since the year 2000 they’ve made over 100 investments, so are very active. They like to be the first institutional investor and then support with follow-on funding.
Location: London Targeting: Europe
Investment Level: $100k – $20m
Portfolio Companies: Housetrip, Lovefilm, carwow. Full portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: Everything you’ll need can be found here.
Dawn invests in tech companies looking to create brand new markets or be the first to disrupt existing ones. Dawn is super ‘hands on’ and bring a lot of experience to the table covering a range of different markets.
Location: London Targeting: UK
Investment Level: $250k – $10m
Portfolio Companies: iZettle, Bathrooms.com. Full Portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: Dawn like people to come via an introduction to someone in their network, but aren’t against the direct approach, see their website for more info.
DFJ Espirit wants to invest in companies that can become leaders in an attractive market. Their main focus is across electronics, software, internet, MedTech, mobile over a massive geographical area.
Location: London, Cambridge, Dublin Targeting: UK, Nordics, Germany, France, Ireland, Spain
Investment Level: $500k – $15m
Portfolio Companies: Graze, Lyst. Full Portfolio here.
Bridges Fund Management (Formerly Bridges Ventures)
Bridges Fund Management is a privately owned investment company where all funds go into businesses looking to achieve social and/or environmental goals alongside returns for investors. They run 3 separate funds, one for property, one for social enterprises and another for sustainable growth.
Location: London Targeting:
Investment Level: Up to £15m
Eden invests in early stage technology companies. They solve the funding gap problem between angel and big VC rounds. Eden looks for a strong market opportunity in the UK with a solid team that can turn it into an international venture.
Location: London Targeting: UK
Investment Level: £200k – £3m with follow-on funding up to around £6m.
Portfolio Companies: huddle, UberVu, Reevoo. Full Portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: They direct everyone looking to apply via this link.
Arts Alliance is a V.C. firm that has been around since 1996, investing in film, online advertising and online marketing.
Location: London, England Targeting: Europe
Investment Level: Seed, early stage and later stage.
Portfolio Companies: Brainient, Shazam, Kebony
Business Growth Fund
Business Growth Fund is a Birmingham based business, with typical black country ideals. Investing primarily in growth and the potential of growth across the entire UK, with offices in 7 Major cities. As well as having a member of the board actively participate in your company when they invest.
Location: Aberdeen, Bristol, Birmingham, Edingburgh, Leeds, London, & Manchester, UK Targeting: UK
Investment Level: Long-term investments beginning in Early Stage venture, between £2,000,000 and £10,000,000 as well as private equity.
Portfolio Companies: Broadband Choices, Bullitt, Furniture Village – a full list can be found here.
Contact/Apply: There are several ways to contact them, including a webform on their contact page here.
Entrepreneurs Fund is a €240,000,000 fund who invest in all forms of technology and life sciences business’ at all stages of a companies life.
Location: London & Jersey, UK Targeting: Europe
Investment Level: Seed, Early Stage Venture, Later Stage Venture, and Post Ipo Equity Investments
Portfolio Companies: Fits.Me, Real Eyes, N-Tec – a full list of their portfolio can be found here.
Contact/Apply: You can visit their ‘Contact US’ page here.
Howzat Partners are a venture capital fund that has been running for more than a decade, specialising in Retail, Media, Photography and Technology. Howzat invest in what they think is the “next big thing”, so if your pitch is good enough, you should be well on your way to peaking their interest.
Location: London, UK Targeting: UK
Investment Level: Seed up to $10,000,000
Portfolio Companies: Alex and Alexa, Swapit, Fantasy 5 Live – a full list can be seen by going to their main webpage here and scrolling down or clicking the ‘Portfolio’ link.
Contact/Apply: There is a useful webform at the bottom of their site here with all other contact details.
Kennet Partners isn’t your typical venture capital or private equity investor, it’s more of a growth company.
Location: London, UK | Silicon Valley, USA Targeting: UK, Europe, USA
Investment Level: Early and Late-Stage venture
Portfolio Companies: Rivo, World One, Spread Shirt – you can view a full list of their portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: All of their contact details are on this page here.
Kreos Capital aren’t strictly a VC fund or Angel investor, they are a debt provider – in fact, they’re Europe’s largest and leading debt provider. Kreos have committed in excess of €1 billion to the automotive, finance and services industries.
Location: London Targeting: Europe, USA & Middle-east
Investment Level: Early-Stage Venture, Late-Stage Venture, Private Equity, Debt Financing Investments €1,000,000 – €10,000,000
Portfolio Companies: Borro, Codemasters, Wonga – see a full, 4-page list here.
Contact/Apply: You can find all of their details on this page here.
For over 3 decades, Summit has been investing in Technology, Life Sciences and Growth Products. Based in the US, but with an office in London, Summit helps with every aspect from expanding your business globally.
Location: London Targeting: UK, USA
Investment Level: $5,000,000 – $500,000,000
Portfolio Companies: Acturis, ApoCell, Belkin – a full list of current and exited companies can be found here.
Contact/Apply: All of their contact details can be found here.
Okay, so not strictly based in the UK, Northzone does, however, have an office in London. Investing in the technology industry, Northzone is willing to help and have a very down-to-earth outlook on running a business proving that they are about the quality of work, not just the financial gain. They mainly focus on advertising, software and curated web.
Location: London, UK | Stockholm, SE | Oslo, NO | Copenhagen, DK Targeting: Europe
Investment Level: Seed, Early-stage venture, later-stage venture, and Private Equity Investments
Portfolio: Sticky, Fishbrain, Test Freaks – a full list can be seen here.
Contact/Apply: You can find all of their contact details on this page here.
Amadeus Capital Partners
Amadeus Capital Partners are a London-based venture capital firm specialising in every form of backing; from seed to venture buyout for the technology market. They invest in all most forms of technology, including healthcare, resource efficiency and clean-tech.
Location: London Targeting: Europe, UK
Investment Level: All levels from seed, to venture buyout and everything in between.
Portfolio: Celltick, Bellco, GreenRoad – an entire list of past and present portfolio companies can be seen here.
Contact/Apply: There is an extensive, and very handy ‘Pitch Us’ type submission form here, and all other contact details can be found here.
Maven Capital Partners
Maven Capital Partners are a Glasgow based venture capital and private equity firm investing in clean technology, hardware, software and messaging services for a decade. Totalling investments of over £100,000,000 and managing over £340,000,000 in more than 20 client funds.
Location: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester – UK. Targeting: UK
Investment Level: Seed, Early-stage, Private Equity investments as well as Debt Financing and exit strategies.
Portfolio: RMEC Ltd, Vermilion, DMACK Tyres – A full list can be found here.
Contact/Apply: All of their contact details can be found on this page here.
Founded in January 2009, Albion Ventures is one of UK’s biggest independent VC investors, with about £275m across six different VC trusts. The group boasts an investment portfolio of over 90 companies, including everything from tech-centric startups to service and asset-based companies. They usually aim to go from the agreed term sheet and investment contracts to completing the process in 6 weeks.
Location: London Targeting: UK
Investment Level: From £1-10 million.
Portfolio Companies: Academia, Blackbay, Proveca. More of their portfolio here.
Contact/Apply: If you’d like to discuss investment opportunities, you can find their contact info on the website.
London Co-Investment Fund
London Co-investment fund has raised £25m from the Mayor of London’s Growing Places Fund, with a goal of co-investing in startups operating in science, technology or digital sectors. The fund invests only in rounds led by their (six) co-investment partners. The main goal is to help startups who can already raise money secure significantly more funds.
Location: London Targeting: London
Investment Level: £250,000 – £1,000,000 seed investment
Portfolio Companies: Chaser, Gojimo, Lexoo.
Contact/Apply: There’s a 2-step application form that you need to fill on their site if you’re interested in working with the LCIF.
List of frozen/closed venture capital firms
Pond is Europe’s largest early stage technology VC fund. In their own words, ‘Pond is the only team dedicated to building global companies independent of where they began.’
Location: Silicon Valley, London, Israel Targeting: North America, UK, Israel
Investment Level: Not specified.
Portfolio Companies: Swapit, Acco, LiveRail.
Contact/Apply: All details listed on their contact page. (Closed late 2016, still open for contact though.)
M8 Capital is a London Based VC firm that invests in Seed (SEIS), Early and Later Stage investment as well as private equity investment for the mobile market.
Location: London, England Targeting: UK
Investment Level: Amount on application up to $4,000,000
Portfolio Companies: Evernote, Masabi – you can see the list of all companies on their website by clicking the ‘next company’ button on the left-hand side of the column.
Contact/Apply: . You can submit an E-Mail to them. (Appears to be closed, 30 March 2017)
What type of businesses should seek VC funding?
VC investment is best suited to entrepreneurs running high potential growth businesses who are happy to relinquish some control and accept a smaller piece of pie in the hope that the eventual pie will be much larger than they could have achieved on their own. Taking on a VC is not for the faint-hearted – in return for their investment they expect total dedication to the business from the entrepreneur.
Venture capitalist Jon Moulton, for example, famously refuses to invest in any business run by someone who has been divorced more than once, on the grounds that their complicated private lives will be too much of a distraction to building a successful enterprise.
It is important that you approach the growth of your company realistically, as not all businesses are suitable for VC funding. VCs look for truly game-changing ventures that show the potential to revolutionise an industry. If you see there is the potential to grow a business to be worth in excess of £100million, then VC funding is for you. But remember: very few businesses have this extraordinary potential, and there is a vast array of alternative funding routes available to suit all different types of business, including crowdfunding sites and angel investment networks.
Advantages of VC
The level of funding and expertise a venture capital firm can provide will typically help your business grow at a much faster rate than would have been possible without. Alongside this fact, most VCs can bring invaluable skills and expertise to your business and provide useful business contacts.
Disadvantages of VC
As well as giving up equity, you will have to be prepared to lose some control over your business. While the VC investment team will not be involved in the day-to-day running of your business, 99% of the time they will appoint someone to be a member of your board and will expect to be involved in the strategic direction of the business. You may sometimes feel as though you are working for the VC rather than for yourself.
What size of investment can you raise?
VC firms are generally interested in investing between £800,000 and £5 million in a business, although some early stage funds will consider investments of £250,000 and up. Different firms adopt different investment criteria, some specialising in particular stages of growth – start-up, early stage, later stage – and others in different industry sectors (our list below contains early, mid and late stage VC funds).
What do venture capitalists look for?
Advice from Julian Carter, Founding Partner and Managing Director of EC1 Capital (London VC Fund with 10+ exits to date)
I have met many entrepreneurs on my journey. It is an honour and a privilege to meet such talented people. Always, it’s a hard choice to choose which of the hundreds we will fund. There is an abundance of information on the web now about how to approach venture capital funds & venture capitalists and also what to say, there are general rules, and there are ones specific to the fund you are talking to. Do your research.
Most entrepreneurs seek the silver bullet. There is none. However, I will mention some things we look for. In an early stage start-up, there is very little ‘hard’ data to go on.
- Team. You will hear this everywhere. We back people first and foremost.
- Market size. You should be addressing a big market.
- Traction. What have you achieved so far, what does it tell you?
- Revenue Model. Time to break even.
- Ideally, you should be disruptive.
- Product. Innovative and defensible.
- Clear articulation of how you will acquire and retain customers.
- Know all your numbers.
- Enthusiasm. Something that cannot be faked.
- Honesty. Never ever lie or stretch the truth. You will be found out.
- Motivation. Why are you doing this, what have you sacrificed to do this and how long can you keep going for?
- Can you build things? Can you actively ‘do’.
For investors, it is as much about getting to know you and ‘de-risking’ you as it is about your startup.
How should you prepare, approach and pitch a VC?
It is crucial to carefully research any VC firm before approaching it for funds. You also want to make sure you’re at a pitchable stage of your business. VCs provide a support network and financial capital for early-stage businesses – typically high-risk companies but with scope for extensive growth. Investments are often made in high-technology companies specialising in pure technology or life sciences.
VC firms do not respond well to cold calling – you will need to appoint advisors to act as an intermediary and make introductions on your behalf and arrange for you to pitch for investment. And make sure you have done your homework first. A polished, detailed presentation document is crucial. Getting VC investment is by no means guaranteed – the vast majority of funding proposals put before venture capitalists are turned down.
Once you have secured the opportunity to pitch your business to VCs, this is your time to really shine. You may know exactly why your business is outstanding, but that doesn’t mean that VCs will, and there’s no reason to suggest that your business won’t seem very similar to a myriad of other companies unless you prove what makes it exceptional.
Demonstrate to investors your knowledge of your chosen market. Show them that you are familiar with your competitors and reveal how you can stand out from them to prove that you are serious about the future of your venture. To get VCs excited about the potential of your business, come armed with details of similar businesses in your market that have exited.
Alongside knowledge of your own company, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your potential investor. Show them that you are aware of how they work and what companies they have invested in. This will tell VCs that you have targeted them for a reason while taking the time to talk to portfolio companies will also give you the opportunity to find out how much value the investor can really add and what support you can expect going forward. When you get to the advanced negotiations, it is your time to ask the questions, so be prepared to challenge them on what they can bring to your business, beyond just the cash.
But it’s not all about facts and figures. Ultimately VCs will have to believe in you as a person, as they need to trust you to make good use of their money. Prove to them that you have a fantastic business plan, supported by key players in the field and a genuine passion for your company and you will start to see VCs paying attention.
What to expect after a VC investment
VCs are as much interested in the entrepreneur and management team running the business as they are in the business idea itself – which means that you the entrepreneur will be under constant scrutiny and pressure to put in the hours and the commitment expected of you.
If you end up receiving venture capital funding consider it a partnership and not simply an investment. These are people with whom you will have to work closely over a number of years, so it is vital that you do your research and establish whether you feel they will be suited to support you on your business journey.
Great entrepreneurs can attract outstanding people to join their team and support their business. This ability to convince other, credible individuals to take a risk and work with your startup will be one of the most compelling reasons investors will want to back you. If you get the team right, the money will follow, so remember that the ‘pitch’ to new board members and employees is just as important as the pitch to investors.
A case study of a successful VC deal
When Angel Springs, a Wolverhampton-based water cooler business with a turnover of £16 million, needed substantial investment, they approached several venture capital firms. They ended up agreeing on a deal with LDC, a venture capital firm, which invested £12 million in the business in return for a 60% equity share. John Dundon, Angel Springs Managing Director, explained the thinking behind the deal: “LDC give us financial resources and strength and also quite a strong framework and structure to work to. They bring real strength to a business like ours. We liked the people we were doing business with, they specialised in the SME market so we fit them like a glove, and the financial package that they put together for us was very fair. They ticked all the boxes.”
Dundon said his firm had done their homework before pitching for investment. “It is really important that the management team are well prepared when you begin a conversation with a potential VC. You have to demonstrate that there is an attractive market and that the business has the ability to add value, either through acquisition or organic growth – or in our case, a mixture of both.”
Final thoughts on pitching VC’s
Chatting with Venture capitalists you begin to hear horror stories of how entrepreneurs pitch and act around them. Ok, that’s all well and good, but how should you act?
Pitch your startup later, talk first
Put simply people are people, you need to find common ground and build a repour before you jump into a pitch. Take a little bit of time to ask questions and learn about said investor your talking and then craftily bring your startup into the conversation or ask if its ok to pitch them right now or to grab a coffee when they’re less busy. This will make you stand out from the crowd, and you’ll have begun forming a meaningful relationship (there’s a reason investors hide their badges at events such as Web Summit now, be different).
Again another fundamental problem is entrepreneurs generally don’t ask investors questions. If you’re blindly pursuing some investment firm or partner of said firm, ask them about how they invest, what they invest in and why. Generally said, savvy entrepreneurs will make sure the investors there pitching are just as much a fit for them as the they are for the investor, this will get you noticed
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Back to basics
If you have a solid business and traction, you have nothing to worry about, there is investment money out there, you’ll have to work hard to get it but so be it, that’s the job. Don’t be fake, be calm and have a conversation and remember the majority of investment deals get done casually over a coffee or a drink!
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181 Business accelerators in the UK for startups & entrepreneurs
A definitive list of business and startup accelerators offering investment, training, network access and a range of other support
Editorial team | Updated July 27, 2021 | Published November 29, 2012
Business accelerators run support programmes typically with investment aiming to grow early-stage businesses in a short space of time exponentially. The programs usually last from 3 months up to a year and as well as offering capital also offer exposure and access to networks of angel investors and experienced mentors. They usually take 5-10% equity in exchange for initial seed funding averaging between £10,000 to £30,000.
Often their financial value is outweighed by the ancillary benefits of being on a business acceleration program. They also can offer specific legal support and financial support such as accounting services from partners, which can be crucial for the technology businesses that typically take advantage of these accelerators.
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The accelerators listed below typically cater to early-stage technology businesses, but there is a vast range of programmes available that also cover many different areas/stage of business.
Seedcamp is not a typical accelerator. There better described as a hybrid accelerator and investor which will take your company from an idea to a fully functioning product or service. They are looking for highly scalable businesses solving problems through the application of technology in global markets.
Their overall focus is on Europe, but they are open to founders and companies from other parts of the world. Typically, they look to invest in companies in a prototype or pre-revenue stage and are often the lead investor.
They also help in providing initial space, network access, education and much more to aid in building your product/service and accelerate your business’s growth. Seedcamp has a focus on founders first and ensuring transparency while accelerating the learning process and company life-cycle.
It is important to mention there an active investor and typically take a board role as an observer in any company they invest in. To date, Seedcamp has funded more than 250 companies who have gone to raise more than a £1,000,000,000 in follow on funding.
Funding/duration: £100,000 for 7.5% for pre-seed investment with further co-investment in seed rounds up to £2,000,000 (there are significant investment amounts available for exceptional circumstances).
The programme duration depends on the company/investment (Seedcamp have pivoted further away from an accelerator model more towards a very hands-on early stage fund, they did use to run a more traditional style accelerator with a three-month programme, it is unclear if this is still run).
Startupbootcamp Fin Tech
The Startupbootcamp Fin Tech programme is a financial service focused accelerator programme me looking primarily for companies innovating in blockchain, mobile security, SME finance solutions, financial inclusion, robo advisor/AI and identity management.
For each programme, they select ten startups providing expert-led masterclasses in all areas of business development, access to corporate financial partners, global network access to mentors and investors. They also offer hands-on mentors, free coworking space for your entire team, investor access, many perks and discounts, free access to many in industry events as well as a demo day at the end of the program.
Funding/duration: €15,000 for 6-8% in equity. The standard programme duration is 3 months.
Location/contact: London (Rainmaking Loft, St Katherine Docks)
Entrepreneur First (EF)
EF is Famous as one of the first accelerators to bring together talented individuals who do not know each other and forging these individuals into entrepreneurs and formidable startups teams. The startups created are focused purely on deep technology and solving significant solutions in global markets. A recent example of success if the acquisition of one of their AI startups called Magic Pony by Twitter in recent years.
On the programme, you’ll receive access to hands-on mentors, experts and investors with a focus on fast growth and technology development. If your looking for a project this programme might be a good fit for you, be warned it is a highly competitive process.
Funding/duration: £16,600 – £19,900 for startups created during the programme in exchange for 8% equity (this may vary for startups that join the programme with 1 or more founders). The programme duration is unknown.
Initiated in 2015, the Startplanet NI is a business accelerator for technology startups and early-stage ventures in Northern Ireland.
They’re particularly interested in startups with the potential to attack large global markets quickly with a very scalable business model. The programme offers seed investment, accountancy support, legal support, workspace, networking access and seminars.
Funding/duration: £20,000 – £100,000 in exchange for 6% equity (case by case valuation). The standard programme duration ranges between 3 and 9 months.
Location/contact: Belfast, Northern Ireland
The Sirius Programme
Founded in 2013 and run by the UKTI, the Sirius Programme is a government-backed accelerator programme to support graduates entrepreneurs from across the globe to relocate their businesses to the UK. The program provides 20 startups each year with funding, entrepreneur visa UK support, setting up a business bank account and much more, making a business move to the UK very straightforward for young entrepreneurs with high growth potential businesses.
Funding/duration: £35,000 in cash and £20,000 in services in exchange for 10% equity. The programme duration is 12 months.
R/GA IoT Venture Studio
The R/GA IoT Venture Studio was born in 2016 and is an accelerator programme for early, mid and late stage startups or companies developing connected hardware products and software services. The program is particularly specialised for firms involved in digital technology, fintech or smart city technologies. The programme covers everything from industrial engineering to sales, marketing and much more (IOT = Internet of Things).
Funding/duration: £75,000 in exchange for 6% equity. The standard programme duration is 3 months.
Startupbootcamp InsurTech is a program for startups developing technology for or in the insurance industry. The program aims to support the creation and development of world-class insurance products and in the long build industry-leading insurance companies.
Funding/duration: €15,000 for 6% equity. The standard programme duration is 3 months acceleration and one month’s free office space after the programme.
StartupBootCamp IOT is a Connected Devices accelerator programme for early-stage ventures building physical products or software in the Internet of Things space, specifically companies working on connected devices with industrial or consumer applications. To apply, you will need a prototype that is working and at least two co-founders.
Funding/duration: €15,000 in exchange for 6% equity. The programme duration is 3 months and 2 months free office space.
Techstars is arguably one of the worlds most successful accelerators, their London chapter is open to all kinds of digital technology but tends to focus on early-stage deeptech or other sector startups with more traction.
The added advantage of Techstars apart from the world-class program is the network of founders, investors and startups they have amassed, arguably better than any other accelerator in this regard. You also have the cache of a being a Techstars Alumni but bear in mind before applying the programme is very tough to get into. Each cohort they take is 13 startups in size; several groups are run each year.
Funding/duration: €15,000 with an optional convertible note of €70,000 (the first sum in exchange for between 6 and 10% equity). The standard programme duration is 12 weeks.
DotForge is a 3-stage accelerator programme me providing Pre-Seed companies with capital, education and a comfortable environment. There firmly targeting early stage technology companies, taking them through from ideation to commercial launch and beyond.
Their further qualifying the companies they accept onto the program by the potential social impact a company or technology a company is developing can have, their mainly looking for companies who can act as catalysts for positive social change (they will support CIC’s and charities).
They will work with to raise a further round post participating in one of their programs. Regarding being different from other accelerators, they seem to have a particular focus on industry engagement with an extensive corporate network offering access benefits regarding partnerships, sales, investment and acquisition.
Funding/duration: £5,000 per founder with a maximum of £15,000 in initial seed investment available. The standard programme duration is 13 weeks.
Location/contact: Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds
Ignite is a comprehensive programme from concept ideas to later-Stage companies in the software industry. The program is mostly carried out remotely, meaning any UK startup would be able to take part in Ignite. There is some onsite work carried out, and you will work closely with mentors throughout the process.
Regarding criteria, to apply for an Ignite program, you’ll need to have an MVP, be a team of at least two founders and be working on your project/business full time. They also run a pre-accelerator programme me providing a day-long course for founders who are in the very early stages of creating their business or ideating.
Funding/duration: £25,000 for 5%, with a contribution of a further 1% to their founder’s equity pool which is owned by the founder and the Ignite team. The standard programme duration is 6 months.
Location/contact: Manchester (Mostly remote)
Entrepreneurial Spark & Hatchery
One of the world’s biggest free accelerator for start-up and scaling businesses, ESpark accepts applicants from the idea stage to those who have been running for up to 4 years (£1,000,000 turnover). They also offer a free service for a 2-tier accelerator process. The main programme begins with a 3-day boot camp.
Entrepreneurial Spark run four programs covering the critical stages of an early stage business; these programs are Sprint, Enable, Grow and Scale. Depending on the programme you join, you will receive office space (some London based) at one of their hubs, an intensive education programme, network access and much more.
The Entrepreneurial Spark brand covers Scotland, while the Hatchery brand covers other cities across the UK.
Funding/duration: Entrepreneurial Spark does not offer investments or ask for equity. The standard programme duration is 6 – 18 months.
Location/contact: Edinburgh, London, Bristol, Ayrshire, Cardiff, Brighton, Birmingham, Cardiff and Newcastle (remote program available, so globally open to applicants).
Bethnal Green Ventures
Bethnal Green is primarily an early stage investment fund but also run an intensive acceleration program to support startups in launching and grow who have clear goals that positively impact millions of lives.
Aside from positive social impact, they’re looking for teams who need capital, space and education to build and scale their ideas. They will provide invest, six months free office space, network access, mentors and access to a lifelong alumni network or portfolio company founders.
Funding/duration: £20,000 for 6% equity (with potential for a further £50,000 in funding). The standard programme duration is 3 months.
Collider is an investor and accelerator with a focus on supporting the growth of marketing and sales related technology aimed at large and small businesses. They’re looking for early-stage companies with a minimum viable product, teams with impressive and credible backgrounds and who are SEIS/EIS eligible.
Collider has close links to the industry with a reasonable level of corporate access for those looking for partnerships or who are targeted at the corporate market and need customer access. The London accelerator programme has been running for five years, and they have also just launched a program in Amsterdam for those looking to travel a bit further.
Funding/duration: £50,000 for 8-12% equity with a program fee of £15,000, meaning the real investment is £35,000. They also offer £100,000 investment for 8-12% equity but will take a £30,000 programme, meaning the investment you will receive is £70,000. The standard accelerator programme duration is 3 months.
Running since 2013, JLAB is owned and operated by the John Lewis Partnership, one of Britain’s largest retailers and supermarkets (owner of Waitrose). JLAB is a corporate accelerator programme with a very clear goal in that there looking to help scale/invest in businesses that can become part of the John Lewis or Waitrose supply chain.
So, if you are running a retail or product-focused technology company, you will be most likely to apply to the program, which said you could also be a disruptive distribution solution or operations tool, anything that can contribute to John Lewis.
The distinct advantage of this accelerator is the access to experts at one of the worlds largest retailers and the ability to sell your product.
Funding/duration: Up to £100,00 (Investment is only for teams who complete the program and are deemed successful/interesting for JLAB, more so a competition than an accelerator in this way). The JLAB accelerator programme duration is 15 weeks.
Barclays Accelerator (TechStars)
Run by one of the world’s largest and most successful banks, the Barclays Accelerator is firmly focused on exciting and disruptive early-stage fintech companies (there is, however, no actual limit on company size).
The program is operational run by Techstars with Techstars also providing the funding. Aside from funding you will gain access to critical people and decision makers at Barclays, gain mentorship from leading Fintech entrepreneurs and industry experts, gain access to a collaborative workspace with cutting-edge facilities, gain investor access through pitch days and become a TechStars alumnus (which comes with some impressive benefits and network access).
Funding/duration: Approx. £80,000 (£120,000), standard TechStars 6% equity taken is assumed but not confirmed as of yet. The Barclays Accelerator programme duration is 13 weeks.
Location/contact: London, New York, Cape Town and Tel Aviv
Climate-KIC Pathfinder Programme
Climate-KIC is a significant innovation initiative from the EU designed to combat climate change by providing support and developing climate-related technologies. They run an accelerator programme called Pathfinder for biotech and clean-tech companies who are delivering climate-related solutions.
There explicitly looking for early-stage companies with some traction or blue sky ideas. Aside from grant funding, you will receive access to an influential network of partners working on breakthrough related climate technologies, including both businesses and academic/research organisations.
Funding/duration: Up to €50,000 in grant form. The standard programme duration for the Climate-KIC Pathfinder Programme is 3 – 6 months.
Location/contact: London (they also have representatives across most of Europe).
Started in 2012 and run by University of Southampton Science Park, the Catalyst Programme is an accelerator programme for early-stage ventures focused on scientific or tech lead breakthroughs. Applications are open to startups and entrepreneurs worldwide.
Each cohort is made up of 8 startups, and you will get access to mentors, lab space, office space, funding expertise and access to investors with accounting software and support and more.
Funding/duration: £1,000 grant fund available. The standard programme duration is 6 months.
MadLab Arts & Tech Accelerator
MadLab Arts & Tech Accelerator is a creative accelerator programme targeting artists and other creatives using digital technologies in their work. Alongside grant funding, you will receive studio space, access to expert mentors in the art/science technology space and other creative entrepreneurs.
Funding/duration: £10,000 grant available. The MadLab Accelerator programme duration is 4 months.
Location/contact: North West
Geovation is an accelerator in London. They run two main accelerator programme s, the first PropTech is run in tandem with the HM Land Registry and supports technology businesses in the property industry who use geospatial data in their products/services. The second program is called GeoTech and is open to application for any technology startup conceiving location-based services or products.
Funding/duration: £10,000 for the first six months )with a further £10,000 if you can create and deliver a prototype at six months). The standard programme duration for the Geovation Accelerator programme is 6 months.
London Distro Dojo (500 Startups)
Founded in 2016 by 500 Startups London, the London Distro Dojo is an accelerator programme for later / mid-stage technology companies who are serious about scaling.
Each cohort is made up of 20 startups, and alongside investment, you will get access to entrepreneurial training, office and workspace and mentorship from industry leaders in your field.
The program focuses on driving user acquisition during the accelerator period; this is to help ensure companies go on to raise significant sums of investment post the programme. The Dojo does not accept applications; you will have to get a referral from one of their network of 3,000 entrepreneurs, investors and founders.
Funding/duration: £100,000 – £200,00 investment for 3-7% in equity. The programme duration is 12 weeks for the London Distro Dojo Accelerator.
Established in 2015, the Seedbed Accelerator is an accelerator programme for startups in the Social Enterprise sector. The programme gives you access to loan funding, workspace and seminars designed for social entrepreneurs.
The accelerator is one of ten projects supported financially by the Social Incubator Fund from the UK government. To be eligible, you will need to have a social venture based in South West England.
Funding/duration: £1000 loan finance available. The standard programme duration is unknown for the Seedbed Accelerator.
Design Council Spark
An accelerator programme from the Design Council, the Spark Programme has been built to fund and support 13 innovative projects and products in each cohort from idea to prototype.
Funding is provided at the end of the programme in the form of grant funding competition, alongside funding during the programme you will receive access to design experts, one to one mentoring, core workshops across several areas of business and more.
Funding/duration: £15,000 – £200,000. The Design Council Spark Accelerator programme duration is unknown.
CyLon is one of the world’s leading business accelerators for startups in the cybersecurity space. The programme provides initial funding in exchange for a small amount of equity and provides access to industry expertise/experience to start-ups who are building the future of cybersecurity.
Funding/duration: £15,000 for a small amount of equity. The CyLon programme runs for three months, twice a year in London and Singapore.
Enterprise Campus programme
The Enterprise Campus programme is an accelerator programme founded in 2012 and is focused on providing investment and support for technology companies pre-startup or have recently set up.
They take cohorts of up 20 startups and provide one-to-one mentorship, workshops, expert seasons and access to tax, legal, accountancy and intellectual property experts. To be eligible for the programme you must have carried out or been carrying out a masters or PhD at a Scottish University.
Funding/duration: £25,000 – £50,000 (no equity, funding terms unclear). The Enterprise Campus Programme duration is 6 months.
Founded in 2016 and managed by Creative England & Silicon South, the First Bourne is an accelerator programme for digital technology startups.
The programme takes eight startups in each cohort and provides funding alongside workshops, mentoring, demo days, access and to investors and more.
Funding/duration: £25,000 for everyone and £50,000 for two companies (in the form of an equity investment or interest-free convertible loan). The standard programme duration for the first Bourne Accelerator programme is 3 months
TrueStart is a seed accelerator programme for early-stage companies in the consumer and retail space with a particular focus on product and retail technology-focused businesses.
The accelerator is owned by the True Capital Group, a retail investment fund who can provide follow-on funding the right companies. Details on the programme are sparse but assume standard accelerator space, mentorships and learning over a set period.
Funding/duration: £25,000 – £50,000 for 4.5% or 9% equity. The TrueStart programme duration is 6 months.
Deep Science Ventures
Deep Science Ventures is an accelerator started in 2016 who specialises in working with deep tech companies who are involved in the life sciences, health, manufacturing, engineering, digital technology, energy and environmental industries. They’re looking for pre-startup and very early stage companies for the programme.
With the investment, you will also be given mentors, seminars, funding advice, standard legal support and accountancy support as well as investor network access for follow-on funding.
The program is mainly geared towards helping entrepreneurs/academics who are Post Doctoral Candidates or Phd’s in science-related fields that are seeking to commercialise their research.
Funding/duration: £30,000 for 15% equity. The Deep Science Ventures Accelerator programme lasts 6 months.
Established in 2015, the Founders Factory runs an accelerator for early-stage companies in the areas of fintech, creative/design, well-being and health or education.
The accelerator is backed by six corporate partners include L’Oreal, Aviva, Guardian Media Group, Holtbrinck, Easyjet and CSC, with all these companies operating in their primary areas of investment and as such these companies can support accelerator companies.
Funding/duration: £30,000 in exchange for 5-8% equity. The Accelerator programme duration is 6 months.
North of England Life Science Accelerator
The North of England Life Science Accelerator is run by the BioCity group as a programme for pre-startup companies in the life science, health, and well-being sectors.
Funding/duration: Undisclosed amount in the form a convertible note (a business loan if unpaid converts to equity). The standard programme duration is 12 months for the North of England Life Science Accelerator.
WiderPool is an accelerator programme established in 2015; it is designed for later stage companies specialising in fintech, telecoms or a range of other digital technologies. The programme focuses on corporate customer acquisition for firms in a growth phase.
Funding/duration: Up to $250,000 in exchange for an undisclosed minority stake. The WiderPool programme duration is 14 weeks.
Owned by the Telecoms giant Telefonica, Wayra started in 2012 runs a range of seed accelerator programmes for early-stage digital technology companies, many of these programmes are detailed on this list as they vastly differ in criteria and material.
Wayra does also put out general calls for startups, and you can check for their latest programs on their site. Their cohort companies have raised over $150 million following the programme.
Funding/duration: Up to $50,000 in cash and service equivalent in exchange for the variable amount of equity. The standard Wayra Accelerator programme duration is up to 12 months.
L Marks is a corporate innovation agency who runs accelerator programme for some of the UK’s largest corporates, similar to Wayra but they do not run their programme., but do however make an investment in startups alongside corporate partners. Most L Marks accelerators are listed here, you can check for new calls on their site.
Funding/duration: None. The standard programme duration for the L Marks Accelerator depends on the specific program.
A Wayra run accelerator programme on behalf of the online fashion retailer ASOS, ASOS Call programme is for early-stage companies and entrepreneurs in the design, fashion and creative industries. The accelerator has a focus on fashion technology businesses.
Funding/duration: Up to $50,000 in cash and service equivalent in exchange for a variable amount of equity. The standard programme duration is up to 12 months.
Kitchen Table Projects
Kitchen Table Projects operates an accelerator programme me for early-stage companies in the Food and Drink sector.
Funding/duration: Up to £100,000 in exchange for 15% equity. The Kitechen Table Projects Accelerator programme is 12 months long.
Run by L Marks on behalf of Belron, the Drive is an accelerator programme for 25 early and late stage B2B technology companies targeting global markets. The focus of the accelerator is on businesses that can help Belron operate better and improve their services.
Funding/duration: Up to £100,000 in exchange for a negotiable amount of equity. The Drive programme duration is 12 weeks.
Run by Invest Northern Ireland, the Propel accelerator caters for early-stage and pre-startup Northern Irish technology companies who are aiming to become significant product exporters. Each cohort is 40 startups in size.
Funding/duration: Up to £20,000. The Propel programme duration is 2 months (1st phase) followed by 10 months (2nd phase).
Barclays Eagle Lab, Flight programme
In partnership with Barclays and Creative England, the Barclays Eagle Lab – Flight programme was started in 2017 to provide cohorts of 8 companies in the creative and design sectors; companies must also be able to demonstrate a significant positive impact on peoples lives. Startups can be early, mid or late stage, basically any stage of development.
Funding/duration: Up to £25,000 in the form of an equity investment or interest-free convertible loan (equity taken varies of valuation agreed). The programme duration is 12 weeks.
Location/contact: Brighton and Hove
Pioneer 10 is operated by Oxford Innovation and is for entrepreneurs/startups at all stages of development or growth.
Funding/duration: Up to £25,000 of services. The Pioneer 10 programme duration is 6 months.
EDF Blue Lab
The programme is run for EDF by L Marks, and as an accelerator the EDF Blue Lab assists young technology startups who work in the energy industry, specifically those improving the lives of energy consumers, developing the latest technologies, testing energy business models of the future or developing new energy services.
Funding/duration: Up to £30,000 in return or an undisclosed equity amount. The EDF Blue Lab programme duration is 10 weeks.
Location/contact: Brighton and Hove
NHS Innovation Accelerator
Established in 2015 by UCL Partners in partnership with NHS England, Network of Academic Health Science Networks, the NHS Innovation Accelerator is an accelerator for well-established young companies involved in the wellbeing and health sector. The programme has a focus on medical product and service companies. Each cohort is 25 in size, and companies show how their innovations, products or services can be valuable to the NHS as a health service and are ready to scale.
Funding/duration: Up to £30,000. The NHS Innovation Accelerator programme duration is 12 months initially with the potential of more time depending on the situation.
Run by Panacea Innovation and initiated in 2014, Biostars is an accelerator programme for new companies to later stage enterprises operating the life science and health sectors. The accelerators take 30 – 40 in each cohort and its main aim is to enable the commercialisation of scientific ideas and breakthrough.
Funding/duration: Up to £30,000 in initial seed funding, follow-on funding is to be considered in exchange equity based on agreed valuations. The standard programme duration is 4 months.
The Velocity Health is an accelerator programme started in 2015 and provides support to for early-stage digital ventures in the health and wellbeing sectors.
Each cohort is small, only taking two companies to support them in developing innovative and ground-breaking healthcare products and solutions. Velocity is particularly interested in finding sustainable and new ways to serve patients currently and in the future.
Funding/duration: Up to £68,000 in cash and services for an unknown amount of equity. The standard programme duration for Velocity Health is up to 12 months.
Ideas Fund is an accelerator initiative from Wales First to create long-term economic growth and sustainable jobs in Wales by supporting early-stage welsh technology companies to start and grow.
Funding/duration: A grant between £5,000 and £10,000. The Ideas Fund run an Accelerator with a standard programme duration of 2 months.
BMW Innovation Lab
Another program from L Marks, the accelerator program is managed on behalf of the German car manufacturer and retailer BMW. The BMW Innovation Lab is geared towards early stage automotive and transport companies, this includes areas such as connected technology, autopilot software, navigation and much more.
Funding/duration: Unknown exact amount but indicated negotiable depending on the company. The BMW Innovation Lab runs a programme that is 10 weeks.
One more program run L Marks, the Hangar 51 is an accelerator operated on behalf of several airlines including Aer Lingus and British Airways. They are looking for startups at any stage involved in digital technology, transport technology or run a B2B business model (apparently with a further focus on technologies related to flying and airline operation).
Despite being open to any stage company, you must have a viable product working and be willing to work them carefully in testing and trialling a launch, as the most exciting products or services will be trialled with airline customers.
Funding/duration: Negotiable. The Hangar51 programme duration is 10 weeks.
Abbey Road Red
Touting themselves as Europe’s only music technology accelerator, the programme is run by some of the world’s most focus music companies/studios including Universal Music and Abbey Roads Studio. As part of the Abbey Road Red program, you will also receive studio access to Abbey Road.
Funding/duration: No investment upfront, possible investment in future financing rounds up to 2% equity. The Abbey Road Red programme duration is 6 months
Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator
A business accelerator programme started in 2017; the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator is aimed at B2B cloud-based startups. Each cohort of startups is five in size and will benefit from Oracle’s fanatic dedication to tech innovation.
Funding/duration: None. The standard programme duration is unknown for the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator.
Pi Labs is an accelerator programme to support and fund technology startups providing products in or for the property industry. They are looking for any startups that have the ability or technology to disrupt the traditional property market.
Funding/duration: £50,000 for 7% equity (with a £10,000 programme fee being extracted when the investment is made. You also have the option to get a warrant for 5%). The Pi Labs programme duration is 13 weeks.
Located in the Secure Information Technologies Centre in Queens University the CSIT Labs is an accelerator programme for cybersecurity startups, although there is no direct cash offered, the significant amount of coding/development services provided is substantial in value.
Funding/duration: Up to £50,000 in engineering/development work over 6 months. The standard programme duration is unknown.
Location/contact: Northern Ireland
Echo++ is a different type of accelerator programme catering for cohorts of 15 to 20 startups at a time. As opposed to more traditional accelerators that provide finance or ask that you pay programme fees with conventional money, Echo++ is made up of a p2p network that exchange skills to support each other’s businesses.
This system is governed by the principle that one hour of your time is equivalent to one echo point, usable with an expert in the network. So rather than exchanging money, your mutually exchanging skills and time.
Funding/duration: None. The standard Echo++ programme duration is 4 – 8 weeks.
BBC Worldwide LABS
While no initial funding is provided, the BBC Worldwide LABS gives you exclusive access to business and technology experts at one of the worlds most respected media companies and broadcasters. This accelerator programme looks specifically for digital media companies working in emerging technologies which could benefit from expertise, commercial partnerships and brand outreach through the BBC.
Funding/duration: None. The BBC Worldwide Labs programme duration is 6 months.
The HouseMark Evolve programme caters for digital technology businesses in the field of data. L Mark runs the accelerator on behalf of HouseMark, one of the countries leading providers of data and insight for the social housing sector.
Funding/duration: Negotiable. The standard programme duration is 12 weeks for the HouseMark Evolve Accelerator.
Another L Marks programme, JD Works, is an accelerator programme for B2B or consumer retail technology startups in both early and late stages. The programme takes up to 7 startups at a time and provides access to experts at one of the UK’s most successful clothing and fashion retailers.
Funding/duration: Negotiable. The standard JD Works programme duration is 10 weeks
01 Ventures is a late stage accelerator specialising in deeptech startups, the accelerator is unorthodox and is predominantly a significant fund coupled with several expert consultants/partners at the fund who will provide curated and hands-on help in growing your business.
Funding/duration: Potential for significant fundraising as the only investor, lead, or passenger not stipulated in detail amounts possible but assume large seed/ series A plus. The standard programme duration is 5 months for 01 Ventures.
Started in 2016 and run by Marriott Hotels Europe, the Marriott TestBED is one of the only accelerators dedicated purely to supporting leisure industry startups with a specific focus on hotel and hospitality related technology startups. You will get exclusive access to one of the world’s most successful luxury hotel brands as an advisor, partner or buyer on this accelerator.
Funding/duration: Unknown. The standard programme duration is 6 weeks for the Marriott TestBed Accelerator.
Marathon Labs is an accelerator for music technology startups; the programme focuses on readily built products or applications/software that needs exposure and can be efficiently monetised. Independent music label Tileyard runs the programme.
We target product-ready applications that optimise the exposure of creators’ work and its monetisation. The program is run by Marathon Artists, an independent music label based in Tileyard London.
Funding/duration: None. The standard programme duration is unknown.
Started in 2017 and run by InMotion Ventures – Jaguar Land Rover, the InMotion Accelerator is an accelerator programme for early-stage businesses developing smart transportation and mobility technology.
Funding/duration: Undisclosed amount in the form a convertible note (a loan if unpaid converts to equity). The standard InMotion Accelerator programme duration is 6 months.
Centre for Fashion Enterprise
The Centre for Fashion Enterprise offers various accelerator programmes for fashion designers and fashion technology businesses based in London, providing expertise and business guidance relevant to only fashion businesses. The programmes include market entry programme, fashion pioneer programme, fast-tech pioneer programme and many more.
Funding/duration: None. The standard programme duration is unknown for the Centre for Fashion Enterprise.
YF Young Academy
Started in 2012 and run by Young Foundation, the YF Young Academy is an accelerator and education programme taking young entrepreneurs over the course of twelve weeks from idea to prototype. During the programme, companies are helped to improve their business model, organisational capacity and show the precise social impact of their business.
Funding/duration: Opportunity to apply for a convertible bank loan of £150,000 convertible note. The YF Young Academy is a 12 week accelerator programme for startups.
BioCity Accelerator programme
Started in 2013 and run in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, the BioCity Accelerator programme consists of a cohort of 10 startups; the programme aims to support these companies in becoming successful biotech businesses. The accelerator has achieved an impressive 91% survival rate for enterprises post the programme.
Funding/duration: Option to apply for a convertible loan of £50,000. The standard programme duration is 19 weeks, broken up into 3 stages.
Targeted at very early stage entrepreneurs and founders, the Elevator Accelerator supports technology startups in testing, research, development and successfully launching alongside with becoming investor pitch ready.
Funding/duration: None. The Elevator Accelerator programme duration is 12 weeks
Location/contact: Aberdeen and Dundee
Run by Hub Launchpad, the Beautiful Ideas accelerator is for social enterprises and companies showing that they will have a positive and sustainable social impact on society. Each cohort is made up of 68 startups, and you will get access to workspaces in the Salford and Liverpool area, alongside other social entrepreneurs.
Funding/duration: None. The Beautiful Ideas programme duration is 12 weeks
Location/contact: Liverpool and Salford
Serious Impact Accelerator
Managed by the Allia Future Business Centre, the Serious Impact Accelerator early and late-stage social enterprises support in making a serious impact. There are several different programmes; all provide an intensive array of seminars, workshops and talks from experts (although it is probably more classed as an incubator, given the fixed programme terms we have added it to the accelerator list).
Funding/duration: None. The standard programme duration is 1 – 9 months, depending on the support module.
Location/contact: Cambridge, Peterborough and East London
Founded in 2016, DigitalHealth.London Accelerator is a programme for late-stage technology companies or enterprises operating the health and wellbeing sector. They take cohorts of 31 startups at a time, and you will get access to academic and business partners on the cutting edge of health technology.
The programme is the result of a partnership between UCL, the London Academic Health Science Networks, MedCity, CW+, the Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity.
The overall aim of the programme is the increase in the adoption rate of new and innovative digital technologies in the NHS as a whole.
Funding/duration: None. The standard programme duration is 12 months for the Digital Health Accelerator in London.
Ricoh Ignite Accelerator
Ricoh Ignite Accelerator is an accelerator programme for B2B early-stage technology companies; the program is run by the corporation, Ricoh, UK.
Funding/duration: None. The standard programme duration is 12 months for the Ricoh Ignite Accelerator programme.
FinTech Innovation Lab
Run by one of the world’s largest consulting firms (Accenture), the FinTech Innovation Lab is an accelerator programme for fintech startups and businesses. Each cohort consists of up to 20 startups, CEO’s and CTO’s will need to commit at least 2.5 days a week to the programme from start to finish. With the programme, you will gain exposure to thirty executives from some of the planets leading insurance companies and banks.
Funding/duration: None. The FinTech Innovation Lab programme is 12 weeks long.
The FAB Accelerator
Started in 2016, The FAB Accelerator provides a twelve-week course taking early-stage entrepreneurs right through the process of starting their business to launching and selling a product. The program is run by entrepreneurs and supported by private investors looking for investment opportunities.
Funding/duration: None. The Fab Accelerator lasts 12 weeks.
Started in 2014 and run by Innovation Forum, the IMAGINE IF! is an accelerator for companies starting and working in the fields of life science, environment and energy. They specialise in high technology businesses and provide direct funding as well as services for each startup on their programme, with cohorts being 15-20 in size. To be eligible startups must be able to demonstrate a positive impact on animal or human health and wellbeing based on what they are doing.
Funding/duration: $10,000 in cash and $10,000 in services (unclear if the money is grant or loan, says non-dilutive so probably not equity investment). The IMAGINE IF! Accelerator programme lasts 3 months in all locations.
Location/contact: Cambridge, London, Oxford and Stevenage
Started in 2015 and run by UK Lebanon Tech Hub, the International Accelerator is an accelerator programme purely for Lebanese startups who wish to expand or set up in the UK, to be eligible for the programme you must have your company registered in Lebanon. Each cohort is ten startups in size, offering access for Lebanese startups to investors, mentors and a decent support structure to scale in the UK and EU.
Funding/duration: Up to $50,000 for 5 in company equity.
Programme length: 3 months
UKSE Y Accelerator
Established by UK Steel in 2015, the UKSE Y Accelerator offers late stage startups in the engineering or manufacturing sectors access to an intensive support programme including mentorship, seminars from leading academic and much more.
Funding/duration: None. The UKSE Y Accelerator programme duration is 3 months
Business Accelerator programme
Part of an initiative to grow Scotland’s entrepreneur culture and run by Acorn Enterprise, the 20-week Business Accelerator programme is a general accelerator programme for technology companies at any stage from ideation to early stage.
Funding/duration: None. The Business Accelerator programme is 20 weeks in total.
London Midland Labs Accelerator
Started in 2017 and run by London Midland, the London Midland Labs Accelerator is an accelerator programme for companies from pre-startup to late stage in the Transport sector. Given the programme is run by a Railway there’s a specific focus on railway related technologies with an overarching purpose focusing on making better journeys for rail passengers.
Funding/duration: None. The London Midland Labs Accelerator programme lasts 3 months with a further six months of office space post programme.
Startup Sesame is an accelerator programme for event technology startups at an early stage of company development.
Funding/duration: None. Startup Sesame runs a 12-month long programme.
Octopus labs started in 2016 and are run by Octopus Ventures a significant venture capital and other asset class investor. The programme is for fintech businesses and allows up to 5 innovative startups to work alongside Octopus in developing their products.
Funding/duration: Unknown. The Octopus Labs programme runs for12 months.
Coinsilium is an accelerator programme for startups in the Fintech startups building technology on, for or related to the Blockchain. It is one of the first accelerators and funds dedicated to cryptocurrency startups in Europe.
Funding/duration: None. Coinsilium runs a programme that last an unknown amount of time.
Health Social Innovators
Health Social Innovators is a socially ambitious accelerator programme aiming to support entrepreneurs and new companies in tackling the massive problem of health inequality in the UK.
Run by UCL Business, the focus of the program is solely on early-stage ventures in the Health and wellbeing sector.
Funding/duration: Up to £20,000. The standard programme duration is 12 months for the Health Social Innovators accelerator.
The Crucible Project
Part of the innovation centre at De Montfort University (DMU), The Crucible Project is an accelerator programme for graduates of DMU who are starting technology companies or businesses. Aside from funding the program offers the graduates hands-on training, mentoring and support to help build their fledgling companies over a year-long period.
Funding/duration: £5,500. The Crucible Project runs for a period of 12 months.
The Birmingham Skills for Enterprise and Employability Network (BSEEN)
BSEEN was Initiated in 2012 by Aston University, in partnership with Birmingham City University and the University of Birmingham. The accelerator aims to provide an intensive technology startup support and training programme to recent graduates and students living in the West Midlands (up to five years since graduation).
Funding/duration: £500 in free startup funding. BSEEN runs for a 12-month period.
Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs
Started in 2013, Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs is an accelerator for companies involved in the Creative Industries and design industries including performance art, companies from early to late stage are welcome to apply.
As part of the programme, you’ll gain access lectures, office space and network access alongside direct funding. To be eligible for the programme, you need to have the right to live & work in the UK legally.
Funding/duration: £1000 – £3000 (unclear if this is a grant or exchange for equity). Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs run a 12 month programme.
Established in 2013 by Royal Academy of Engineering, the Enterprise Hub is an accelerator programme for Engineering and Manufacturing technology startups.
Funding/duration: Up to £60,000. The Enterprise Hub programme runs for 12 months.
LSBU Rocket Accelerator
Run by London South Bank University (LSBU) and Startup Republic, the LSBU Rocket Accelerator is an accelerator programme for technology companies in pre-startup or early stage development; cohorts are seven startups in size.
Programme applicants must be graduates or students with a business idea or who are in the early stages of company setup (recent graduate means within five years).
Funding/duration: £15,000 (unclear what form of financing this takes). The programme duration is 6 months.
SprintPirates is an accelerator programme for technology companies at an early stage of development. They do not accept single founders or startups without engineers who are technically trained/minded.
Funding/duration: £15,000 to £35,000 in the form of a convertible note at a discount of 25% with a £1,000,000 cap on any amount of financing. The programme duration is 6 weeks.
Accelerate Cambridge is an accelerator run by Judge Business School, a chapter of the University of Cambridge. The programme provided three months entrepreneurial training, mentorship and shared workspace for students and recent graduates of Cambridge University who are in the process of starting a business.
Funding/duration: None. The Accelerate Cambridge programme lasts 3 months.
Aston Programme for Small Business Growth
Started in 2017 and run by Aston University, Aston Programme for Small Business Growth is aimed at supporting small businesses and social enterprises in the West Midlands area. They provide support for technology businesses.
Funding/duration: Unknown. The Aston Programme for Small Business Growth lasts 6 months.
IQuBit is a programme run by the University of Manchester; it is a digital accelerator providing support companies engaging in developing the next generation of social networking platforms, software and other digital platforms/technologies. The focus is on communication and information technology businesses and is for students, recent graduates or researchers of the university.
Funding/duration: Kickstarter funding access possible, not described in amount. The standard programme duration is 6 months.
King’s 20 accelerator
Started in 2016 and run by King’s College London, the Entrepreneurship Institute: King’s20 accelerator is for technology ventures in a stage of development from ideation to set up. To be eligible to apply you must be staff, student or recent graduate of Kings College London (within seven years).
Funding/duration: Up to £10,000 in grant funding. The King’s 20 Accelerator programme lasts 12 months.
Elevator Accelerator programme
Started in 2017 and run by Centre for Entrepreneurship University of Dundee, the Elevator Accelerator programme is for companies from pre-startup to late stage. Their programme focuses on companies involved in the creative industry, design sector, engineering, manufacturing or life sciences areas as well as other digital technology sectors. The program is open to anyone in the Dundee area.
Funding/duration: None. The programme length is unknown
Fast Forward is run by City University in partnership with the Accelerator Network. The programme prepares startups to take their first seed or venture investment round or gain access to a world-class accelerator program.
Funding/duration: None. The standard programme duration is 6 weeks.
Cambridge Social Ventures
An accelerator programme dedicated to scaling social ventures, Cambridge Social Ventures is run by Judge Business School (University of Cambridge). The program is mainly geared towards early, mid and late stage startups involved in the fields of education, housing, transport or health with a global ambition. The program was formerly called Social Incubator East.
Funding/duration: Can support access to loan finance if needed. The Cambridge Social Ventures programme duration is 12 months.
ActiveLab accelerates cutting-edge innovation in physical activity from the UK and across the globe. This 12-week accelerator, delivered by ukactive, provides access to tailored education, promotion, networking and resources.
Funding/duration: ActiveLab does not provide investment or ask for equity. Entry to the programme is free. ActiveLab can/may connect businesses to potential investors and buyers. The standard programme duration is 12 weeks for ActiveLab.
INSURETECH GATEWAY is an FCA regulated accelerator that allows startups in their programme to sell insurance based products under their banner. They have a network of partners and experts all experienced in the insurance space. They look for pre-seed stage, seed stage or unproven business models.
Funding/duration: Unknown. The standard programme duration is not set (more so time ios seen and based on an investment in company in terms of space used).
Location/contact: InsurTech Gateway, 8 Greencoat Place, London, SW1P 1PL
Established in 2013, Distill Ventures is the drinks industry’s first accelerator. They look for the most exciting, innovative drinks founders across both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink categories and support them through a combination of cash investment, mentoring support and access to a network of experts. Backed by Diageo, they operate independently and invest at all stages – whether you’re looking for seed funding or require significant growth and expansion capital.
They have invested over £100 million in 15+ brands around the world, including some of the most pioneering non-alc brands such as Seedlip (which exited the portfolio in 2019), Ritual Zero Proof, the first spirit alternative distilled in America, and Rheinland Distillers, makers of the first German non-alcoholic spirit.
The portfolio also includes some of the most exceptional new world whisky brands, which are spearheading major change in the category. These include Stauning, one of Europe’s standout new whiskies from Denmark, Australian-based Starward, and Westward, a leading American single malt inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s craft beer traditions.
Programme fee/Funding/duration: Programme fees and duration are deal dependent. Seed funding from £250,000 up to £10,000,000.
Location/contact: Supports entrepreneurs across the world from offices in London and New York.
Started in 2015, the Grocery Accelerator is an accelerator programme for early, mid and late stage businesses in the Food sector, with a particular focus on helping to scale food and drinks startups/brands to create a profitable distribution of their products via multiple channels.
Programme fee/Funding/duration: £5,000 initial fee (with a further £900 per month). Funding of £60,000 + in exchange for around 15% equity. The Grocery Accelerator programme lasts 12 months.
CRL Hardware Accelerator
Beginning in 2015 and managed by Central Research Laboratory, the CRL Hardware Accelerator is an accelerator programme for early-stage ventures developing hardware and physical technology. They provide additional support alongside investment, including the development of products, include research, industrial design, running manufacturing operations and raising investment.
To be eligible for the accelerator, you will need to have an existing prototype that works, have more than two founders in your startup, have an innovative product or business model and have a real drive to build a product business to a global scale.
Funding/duration: £5,000 in return for 6% equity. The standard programme duration is 6 months.
Open Data Institute
Open Data Institute is an accelerator programme for startups in the Open data sector.
Programme fee/Funding/duration: Fee for the programme is 10% company equity. No investment is provided. Programme length is 1 year.
Location/contact: London, Leeds
ODI Startup Accelerator
Started in 2013 and run by ODI, the ODI Startup Accelerator is an accelerator programme for digital technology startups primarily involved in data and data applications.
Programme fee/Funding/duration: 10% equity taken as programme fee. Unknown if investment provided. The ODI Startup Accelerator programme lasts 12 months.
Location/contact: London and Leeds
The UP Accelerator is a corporate innovation partner and accelerator programme connecting corporations with high potential startups who are ready to scale. Details on the program are a little unclear, enquire for more.
Programme fee/Funding/duration: 12% equity in exchange for programme. No investment or funding is available. The programme lasts 10 – 20 weeks.
Location/contact: Edinburgh, Manchester, London
Started in 2014, 50th Generation is an accelerator programme for technology startups. They are looking for businesses with great ideas, decently sized markets, a minimum of two founders and evidence on traction on your idea/business.
Each cohort is 20 startups, and you will get access to office/workspace, mentoring. 50th Generation provides training, funding, mentoring and an influential community for companies who want to create meaningful, joyful, valuable enterprises that change lives.
Looking for companies with a meaningful idea, decent market, two co-founders, evidence that people will pay money/time to the idea.
Programme fee/Funding/duration: 3% revenue share for the year in the program and 5% equity with buyback option required for participating in the programme. No investment available. The programme initial length is 12 months.
Started in 2015, PetriBox is an accelerator programme for companies at an early stage of development in the B2B digital technology space. You will get a range of support, including access to manufacturing and design facilities.
Programme fee/Funding/duration: Undisclosed equity taken as the fee for the programme. No funding provided and the programme runs for 12 weeks.
EIT Digital Accelerator
EIT Digital Accelerator is an accelerator programme for startups providing co-working space in west London digital companies; they can also help you gain access to finance.
Programme fee/Funding/duration: None of these details are publicly available as far as we can see.
Incubus is an accelerator based in central London providing accelerator programmes aimed at startups in artificial intelligence, retail, smart city and Internet of Things spaces.
Programme fee/Funding/duration: Incubus fees vary programme to programme, expect £1,500+. No funding available. Programme length depends on specific programme.
The Food Foundry
The Food Foundry is an accelerator programme for early-stage and later stage food businesses and food technology businesses.
Programme fee/Funding/duration: A monthly fee or % of company equity in exchange for the monthly programme fee. No investment available and the programme runs for 3 – 6 months.
First, run in 2016, the Spin-Up Factory is an accelerator for satellite, service, product or application companies or those who are involved in related space or satellite technology. It would be best if you were based or plan to base your business in the UK to be eligible.
Programme fee/Funding/duration: Unknown Spin-Up Factory programme fee. In terms of funding £40,000 in services is provided (for product and service design). The programme length for this accelerator is unknown.
Inactive / closed startup accelerators
Over time many startup accelerators close either permanently or temporarily, there can be many reasons for this, including investment failure, running out of funds, a corporate cancelling a funding programme and much more. The list below covers all currently closed accelerators were aware of in the UK.
Started in 2017, TechVelocityNorwich is a general startup accelerator programme for early companies at the seed stage.
Funding/duration: £20,000 to £50,000, standard equity amount not disclosed. The Tech VelocityNorwich programme duration is 12 months
Initiated in 2016 the Teesside LaunchPad is run by the University of Teesside in partnership with The Forge. The accelerator provides a programme for early stage technology companies and ventures.
They take cohorts of 12 startups at a time and provide access to grant funding, training and workspace alongside mentorship. The programme is focused on the business model development of fledgeling ventures and as such, primarily aimed at Teeside students and Alumni who are starting.
Funding/duration: £1000 – 19,000 grant funding. The Teeside LaunchPad programme lasts for between 6 and12 months.
Qi3 work by having your product, or service, rapidly commercialised for the technology/product industry. They work with seed and early-stage companies. The accelerator has now closed and instead Qi3 has pivoted into purely an early stage investment fund.
Funding/duration: Not known. Programme runs for a 2-day boot camp.
The bakery runs an intensive course which brings the brands to the start-ups. This program no longer runs, but they do however, still work with an early stage to series A-level startups in running commercial/technology trials with corporate partners.
Funding/duration: £50,000 for 5%. The Bakery programme lasts 8 Weeks.
Location/contact: Slough, Greater London
Beta Foundry run a start-up accelerator programme me for Oxford students and alumni. However, only one member of the team needs to have this connection. Primarily based on technology, as long as there is potential for growth, your company may be considered. They also offer benefits such as £10,000 worth of RackSpace credit, and the best team win a trip to San Francisco.
Funding/duration: £5,000 plus over £20,000 of benefits for 5-10% of equity. The Beta Foundry is a 2-week boot camp to begin then two months accelerator time.
Oxygen Accelerator is available to any company around the world but is mostly geared towards technology start-ups. The programme is set into three core phases, and they provide you with advice, mentorship, network access, investor days, office space and can even help you with accommodation.
Typical graduates of the Oxygen accelerator programme look to raise funding rounds of between £100,000 and £500,000, they will help you network wise and with a pitch day regarding raising further finance.
As a quick note do not be confused by details on their FAQ page talking about a further investment/programme fees, you will get no additional investment or have to pay any fees; this appears to be a way to increase their SEIS claim. Be aware they also do not accept solo founders.
Funding/duration: £18,000 max for 8% equity, £6,000 per founder up to 3 founders with the equity figure ream9ning the same. The equity figure does, however, drop to 4% if you have already received £100,000 or over in investment. The accelerator runs for 13 Weeks.
Location/contact: Birmingham & London (Birmingham Science Park and Google Campus)
Emerge Venture Lab
Emerge Venture Lab are expert-led boot camps in London and Oxford for pre-seed ventures that tackle social problems. This general program appears to have closed for now, but the Emerge Education accelerator at the top of the main business accelerator list is still running.
Funding/duration: £15,000 for 8%. The Emerge Venture Lab programme runs for 3 months.
WebStart takes on ten start-ups who are web-based with a direct link to Bristol per programme. They run three programmes per year. Now closed the company still provides support to existing companies it is invested in.
Funding/duration: £10,000 for 10% equity. The WebStart programme runs for 10 weeks.
Started in 2012, Healthbox was initially an American accelerator programme but has now expanded to the UK and other countries. They support startups who are developing technology in the healthcare industry and are well known for providing a very focused program with excellent access to sector-specific investors, entrepreneurs and mentors.
At this time it is unclear if their accelerator programme is still actively running in the UK (seemingly more pivoted more towards corporate services now).
Funding/duration: £75,000 in exchange for undisclosed equity. The Healthbox programme lasts for 4 months.
Created by Winton & L Marks, the Winton Labs Accelerator is a program for pre-startup, early stage, mid-stage and late-stage companies involved in the application of data science or the creation of data for B2B purposes. The program appears to be now closed, but the Winton fund is still open.
Funding/duration: £5 -15k stipend gift when joining. The Winton Labs Accelerator programme lasts 3 months.
Capital One Growth Labs
Run by L Marks on behalf of Capital One, Capital One Growth Labs is an accelerator programme for early-stage fintech enterprises; they take cohorts of five startups at a time. The program appears now to be closed (we’ve removed the link, it goes to a Capital One credit card page now).
Funding/duration: Unknown. Programme length is 10 weeks.
Red Bull Amplifier
Started in 2013, Red Bull Amplifier is an accelerator programme for companies at an early stage of development in the design and creative arenas; each cohort is three startups. There particular looking for innovative and creative music technology companies (assumed this program is now shut given the web page is marked as under construction – http://www.redbullamplifier.com/).
Funding/duration: None. Programme length is unknown.
EuropeanPioneers is an accelerator programme for startups across the EU, with a primary base in the UK they were also formerly in the UK and provided a lengthy accelerator program coupled with substantial EU funding, the program supported innovative European technology businesses (site redirects to http://www.etventure-startup-hub.com/).
Funding/duration: €50,000 – €250,000 EU grant funding. The European Pioneers Accelerator Programme lasts an unknown amount of time.
Searchcamp is an accelerator programme for companies at an early stage of developing new digital technologies. Founded in 2013, the programme now appears to be closed. Their programme provided a range of direct funding options coupled with expert-led mentorship for each company.
Funding/duration: £15,000 – £150,000. The programme length is 12 weeks for searchcamp.
Seedpod / Civic Foundry
Established in 2015 and managed by Hub Launchpad, the Seedpod is an accelerator wellbeing and health technology companies who are looking to create a sustainable positive impact.
Funding/duration: None. The Seedpod programme lasts 10 weeks.
The Leeds Accelerator
Started in 2015 and run by Young Foundation, The Leeds Accelerator is an accelerator for up to 15 social entrepreneurs and is in partnership with The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Centre for Justice Innovation and Leeds City Council.
Funding/duration: None. The Leeds Accelerator programme is 12 weeks long.
Started in 2015 and run by Growth Hub with funding support from UK Steel Enterprise, the UKSE Y-Accelerator is an accelerator programme for pre-startup manufacturing and engineering companies
Funding/duration: £25,000 investment prize at pitching competition at the end of the program. The UKSE programme runs for 13 weeks.
Virgin Media London (TechStars)
TechStars – Virgin Media London is an accelerator programme for startups in the IoT, Connectivity, Social Enterprise, Telecoms sector
Funding/duration: None but equity took 6-10%. The Virgin Media London Techstars programme runs for 13 weeks.
Started in 2013 and run for some years by Microsoft, the Microsoft Accelerator is an accelerator programme for digital technology companies in the later stages of development. Aside from the usual perks with programmes you will get exclusive access to Microsoft partner and customer network. London chapter appears closed now, but it does run in other locations.
Funding/duration: None. The programme runs for 16 weeks.
The AmplifyNI Accelerator
Started in 2014 and run by Amplify NI – Young Foundation, The AmplifyNI Accelerator is made to scale social ventures and solve social problems in Northern Ireland.
Funding/duration: None. The AmplifyNI Accelerator runs for 3 months.
Open Future_ Midlands & North
Started in 2016 and run by Wayra UK, the Open Future_ Midlands & North is a pre-accelerator programme for early-stage ventures involved in creating digital technologies within Birmingham and the Midlands.
Funding/duration: None. The Open Future programme runs for 6 months.
MassChallenge UK is a non-for-profit globally important accelerator program that competes with top tier accelerators without extracting equity or fees. The Mass Challenge program aims to accelerate early-stage startups with mentorship, space and more. At the end of any programme, startups compete in competition with their cohort to compete for cash prizes.
Funding/duration: Up to £50,000 in cash prizes given at the end of the accelerator programme in the form of different awards for startups. The Mass Challenge UK programme runs for 4 months.
Run by Wayra and initiated in 2016, the GCHQ Accelerator is an accelerator programme funded by the UK’s version of the NSA. They take cohorts of 6 startups at a time, and your business must be UK registered.
The program aims to support startups in the cybersecurity space in developing innovative security products, technologies and services for the digital age.
It is part of a £1.9 billion funding initiative form the National Cyber Security Programme to keep UK consumers and businesses safe from online threats and attacks.
Funding/duration: £5,000 in grant form / no equity required. The standard programme duration is 3 months.