News UK has launched an accelerator to nurture start-ups

In conjunction with Unruly and Fluxx, the newspaper publisher will support six new businesses that can benefit from its journalism and media expertise

Marking a first for News UK, the newspaper publisher has announced its entry into the start-up market with an accelerator programme targeted at helping start-ups develop revenue streams – and theirs.

Based at video advertising firm Unruly’s London headquarters, the Startup Lab will take on six early-stage businesses and will support them over a month-long period – October 9 to November 3 – to generate “new ways of thinking”.

Specifically, the publisher, which owns brands such as The Sun, The Sunday Times and The Times,  is looking for start-ups that will create value, and benefit, from its industry knowledge and have a product or service that can be “super-charged by its journalism, analytics and reach”.

Alongside the four-weeks spent at Unruly developing their proposition, successful applicants will also receive up to £5,000 in cash, mentoring from successful entrepreneurs, royalty-free use of News UK’s written and image content and data sets, and research and product testing opportunities with the newspaper’s reported 12 million audience.

Additionally, the publisher has hinted that there will be the opportunity for start-ups to receive Series A funding, or to receive an offer from News UK to acquire the start-up outright.

News UK CTO, Christina Scott, said of the programme:

“Our aim is to champion entrepreneurship and innovation. We see this as an opportunity to do something different in the corporate accelerator space that’s fair for start-ups and creates value for both parties.”

Sarah Wood, CEO and co-founder of Unruly – which was acquired by News UK in a £114m deal back in 2015 – added:

“We’re delighted to be hosting the Startup Lab. With Unruly, I’ve seen the benefits of partnering with News UK, and I’m looking forward to helping the next generation do the same.”

To submit an application for the Startup Lab, click here. Entries close on Thursday 14 September 2017 and shortlisted entrants will be invited to a pitch day on October 2.