Founders Factory and Guardian Media Group seeking mediatech start-ups to join its accelerator

Vidsy, Flourish, People.io, Fanbytes and Alegra were the five start-ups accepted onto the 2016/2017 programme

Founders Factory and the Guardian Media Group (GMG) are looking for a new wave of media technology (mediatech) and advertising technology (adtech) start-ups to join their accelerator programme.

Actively seeking businesses creating ‘next gen’ technology, examples of desired entrants could include artificial intelligence tools for journalism or virtual reality and augmented reality models for publishers.

Other examples could include natural language processing and translation technologies, as well as new ways of distributing audio and voice content, and technologies that support advertising and marketing.

Founded by Brent Hoberman, Henry Lane Fox (brother of Martha Lane Fox) and Jim Meyerle, multi-sector accelerator and incubator Founders Factory plans to build and scale over 200 early stage technology companies across five sectors over the next five years.

The five start-ups selected for last year’s accelerator programme between 2016 and 2017 have already raised significant funding and are now working with major corporates.

They included:

  • Vidsy: Enables global brands to create mobile video ads at scale and is working with clients such as Unilever and Diageo. Vidsy is now one of Facebook’s and Snapchat’s marketing partners and was recently awarded Facebook’s Innovation Spotlight award for Creativity Around Video. Since graduating from Founders Factory, it has secured a £1.3m investment round with investors including GMG which took a substantial part of the round.
  • Flourish: (Founders pictured) An innovative new platform to visualise and tell stories with data, which announced a $1m seed round in March 2017 and is now partnering with Google’s News Lab.
  • People.io: Gives people control of the access, use and value of their personal data. Since releasing a beta version in early 2017, people.io has already grown to 100,000 UK users and recently launched in partnership with Telefónica Germany making people.io available to their 44 million customers. To date, people.io has raised £2m in funding.
  • Fanbytes: Enables brands to reach younger audiences via Snapchat and has worked with global brands such as Universal. Co-founder Timothy Armoo was named one of Startups’ Young entrepreneurs to watch in 2017.
  • Alegra: A software as a service company that enables publishers to build their digital platforms instantly on multiple devices, is expecting to achieve strong growth in 2017.

Alongside the Guardian Media Group, Founders Factory is also backed by Aviva, CSC Group, easyJet, Holtzbrinck and L’Oréal.

As part of a partnership that began between GMG and Founders Factory in 2016, the annual accelerator aims to support the growth of five early stage start-ups, every year for five years.

Alan Hudson, chief investment officer of GMG, said:

“GMG has a long history of investing in digital innovation, and our partnership with Founders Factory is already helping us to keep ahead of disruptive media trends and nurture a remarkable selection of MediaTech talent.

“We now want to hear from the next wave of start-ups who are keen to join the Guardian and Founders Factory on this exciting journey. ”

Henry Lane Fox, co-founder and CEO of Founders Factory, said:

“We’ve had a great mixture of startups in our first year of work with the Guardian and we’re pleased that Founders Factory has been able to accelerate their development.

“Each start-up has benefited from our unfair advantage; operational support in different areas from our team and hands on support from GMG. We’re excited to see how they scale their businesses from here.”

The deadline for applications is 29 September 2017.

For full details and to find out how to apply, click here.