Global hunt for next £100m tech company built in London launches with £1m up for grabs

The Million Pound Startup competition seeking global start-up with potential to build multi-million pound company in the capital

A global competition to find a start-up capable of building a £100m company in London with the help of a £1m investment has launched today.

The Million Pound Startup competition has been announced at the Digital Shoreditch 2013 festival.

Technology businesses across the world, including existing London-based start-ups, can enter and will receive a package of support and assistance in addition to the investment.

Backers include The Mayor of London, The Tech City Investment Organisation, Taylor Wessing, Seedrs, City University London, London & Partners, London First, Schools for Startups, KPMG, Pitching for Management, and PR firm Ketchum.

The £1m itself will be sourced via angel investors, venture capital, corporate organisations and UK government, with the process, including due diligence, managed by FCA-regulated crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

In exchange, the winning company will have to relinquish 10-40% equity – depending on the valuation of the company – and explain how the £1m investment would be used to build a £100m business.

Advocating the launch, the mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “London is a terrific home for technology start-ups and a world leader in this booming sector.”

Kam Star, founder of Digital Shoreditch, added that the merit of being based in London’s Tech City cluster naturally provides access to a top-level support network, while deputy CEO of Tech City Investment Organisation Benjamin Southworth pointed to government support for the area.

He said entrepreneurs coming to the capital “can benefit from the world’s most ambitious package of policies, businesses incentives, tax and visa support as well as the diverse and vibrant start up ecosystem in Tech City”.

Applicants’ turnover for the past year must be less than £1m turnover and must have been trading for less than 10 years. The competition is open to entries until August 29 with the final in December 2013.

Start-ups that have already entered include the property crowdfunding site Launch Pad and the mobile app development company Touch Spark.

To raise awareness, an additional prize of a 1% equity stake in the winning company will be offered as part of the £1m deal to the person or organisation that recommends them.

Potential investors can invest via Seedrs at any time until the £1m target is reached, meaning individuals can get involved in the fund. Seedrs will act on behalf of smaller investors so as not to impact on future funding rounds.

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