Entrepreneur First

Find out more about the pre-seed accelerator and investment fund helping Europe’s “brightest” technical entrepreneurs build start-ups from scratch

Fund name: Entrepreneur First
Investor category: Angel
Based in: London
Website: www.joinef.com


Founded in 2011 by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck, Entrepreneur First is a London-based pre-seed investment accelerator and investment fund that helps technical entrepreneurs build start-ups from scratch through funding, mentoring and support.

Investment criteria:

Entrepreneur First provides highly technical individuals with £17,000 in pre-seed funding for an 8% equity stake to help them build a business during an intensive six-month period. The programme doesn’t require entrepreneurs to have a fixed idea to apply, so long as the applicant has either a technical degree, experience in a technical role at a company or is a self-taught hacker. Entrepreneur First says that 55% of its portfolio are Oxford, Cambridge or Imperial College London graduates. To date, 200 entrepreneurs have taken part in the programme and have built companies with a combined value of $250m.

Size of fund:

£8.5m which it raised from high-profile angel investors including Zoopla CEO Alex Chesterman and Index Ventures' Robin Klein.

Portfolio company:

A pioneering advertising technology start-up, Adbrain claims to be the first business of its kind in the world to allow agencies to build a single customer profile across multiple devices. Launched in 2014 by Gareth Davies, the company was part of Entrepreneur First's inaugural accelerator cohort and has gone on to launch an office in New York and raise a $7.5m Series A round led by Octopus Investments.

Featured deals:

  • Adbrain


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