Microsoft launches accelerator programme for UK tech start-ups

Central Working-based programme open to high-potential companies in cloud, mobile and gaming sectors

Software giant Microsoft has announced that entries are now open for a new accelerator programme, aimed at the UK’s most promising tech start-ups.

The Microsoft Ventures programme will provide one-to-one mentoring, technical support and access to resources for companies entering the cloud, internet, mobile or gaming sectors.

Start-ups on the 12-week scheme will also be given the opportunity to work with a variety of established business and financial institutions including KPMG, London Business School and Barclays, as well as gaming experts Train2Game, Lionhead Studios and Lift London.

At the conclusion of the programme, participants will present their ideas to a panel of venture capitalists, investors and mentors in the UK technology sector.

Successful companies may attain investment, a licensing deal or the potential option to join one of Microsoft’s own gaming studios. Initially based out of Central Working in Shoreditch – founded by 2006 Growing Business Young Gun James Layfield – the scheme is one of 10 planned accelerator programmes across the globe.

Of the 119 companies that have participated in the accelerators so far, Microsoft claims that 85% received funding either at the conclusion of the scheme or within six months.

The accelerator has received endorsement from technology sector organisations including Tech City UK, London & Partners and Capital Enterprise.

Anand Krishnan, general manager of the developer and platform group at Microsoft, said: “If you’re a technology or gaming start-up with a great team, a great idea and an unfaltering belief in what you do, you are the perfect candidate for the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in London.

“Microsoft is committed to helping start-ups grow their business by providing access to our ecosystem of partners and routes-to-market.”

James Layfield, chief executive of Central Working, said: “We’re thrilled that Microsoft has chosen to launch its London accelerator programme at Central Working. We provide the ideal environment in which bigger businesses, start-ups and SMEs can meet.

“Our strength is in fostering and encouraging collaboration. We’re looking forward to seeing more businesses grow as a result.” For more information on the Microsoft Ventures programme and how to apply click here.

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