Final call for applicants to London tech start-up academy
Deadline to enter White Horse Capital-funded Accelerator Academy looms as 12-week programme enters second year
The Accelerator Academy scheme, a 12-week intensive development course for the most promising tech start-ups, is set to enter its second year with final applications due next Monday.
Funded by tech start-up focused venture capitalists White Horse Capital, the programme is intended to increase the success rate of high-growth early-stage tech businesses by offering a package of training, investment opportunities and support. Businesses selected for the course will receive a package that includes a 12-week part-time training programme, introductions and mentoring from high-profile entrepreneurs and business leaders and £150,000 worth of offers and deals. Start-ups on the Academy programme will also be invited to take part in a programme of networking and investor events; last semester this included a private train journey with Virgin Group chief executive Sir Richard Branson. Launched last year, the Academy is set to enter its fifth semester having supported 37 businesses, while helping to raise £3m of capital via five investor events attended by a total of 500 investors. It is based at the Innovation Warehouse in London, a tech business ‘incubator’ supported by the City of London Corporation. The Academy claims that each semester receives over 100 applicants, with the top 10% selected following a process of business plan reviews and interviews. Applicants should be tech sector businesses typically in their first year of growth. Social magazine publishing platform Flockr was one of the first businesses supported by the scheme and has since gone on to work with media giants News International, Haymarket and the Mirror Group. Toni Hopponen, chief executive of Flockr, commented on the programme: “We didn’t have any contacts having moved to London from Finland and the Academy was a very good experience. “From day one, our mentor was giving us feedback and we are still in contact with him now. Because of the Academy we gained a lot of investor contacts to get funding, and a lot of potential contacts. It’s speeded up our development from having a prototype through to something we can actually sell.” The Academy programme is being backed by senior government figures, including the former minister for business and enterprise Mark Prisk and mayor of London Boris Johnson. Boris Johnson said: “The Accelerator Academy represents exactly the type of investment in London’s future businesses that will secure our position as Europe’s digital capital. “Using the nous of seasoned entrepreneurs to mentor those in the very early stages, alongside much needed access to investment, the Academy will give entrepreneurs a real leg up in a tough economic climate, helping to create London’s future jobs.” Potential applicants should email Accelerator Academy’s Ian Merricks: firstname.lastname@example.org