Number of UK accelerators and incubators up by 110% on 2011

O2 study reports 92% survival rate for businesses that graduate from start-up programmes

The number of accelerators and incubators operating in the UK has risen by 110% in the last three years with more start-up programmes than any other European country, according to new findings from O2.

The research reported that 1,100 start-ups had participated in some 59 programmes in 2014 which included privately-run schemes which make up 40% of the UK’s accelerators and incubators, and those owned by large corporates (12%).

The study also found that businesses which had participated in formal support programmes were more likely to survive than those that hadn’t with a two-year survival rate of 92% for “graduated” start-ups compared to 76.5% of all small businesses.

The chance of securing financial investment was also high with an average of £68,000 raised after businesses had left an accelerator or incubator scheme.

Despite the rise in start-up programmes, the study reported a “stubborn regional divide” in the location of these schemes with 61% of accelerators and incubators based in London – 10 times higher than the number of programmes outside the capital.

O2’s sales and service director, Feilim Mackle said: “Start-ups play an important part in contributing to the innovation the UK needs to remain globally competitive, and the report shows that accelerated start-ups have a far greater chance of success.

“The rise in UK start-up programmes creates a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs, but only if businesses and the government take responsibility for investing in these programmes to ensure they offer long-term, quality support. A loss in momentum could see some of the UK’s best entrepreneurial talent go to waste.”

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