Our list of the best accelerators in London, their preferences and what they offer to startups – from investment to expertise to office space.

WAYRA

One of the UK’s most successful examples of corporate innovation, Wayra is the London startup accelerator for Spanish telephone giant Telefonica, the owner of O2. Using its global business resources, Wayra helps UK based startups from a range of verticals and also provides some pretty nifty office space right next to Piccadilly Circus to boot.

Preferences: Programme dependent
Investment: 34k+(depending on programme), office space and other benefits
Equity: Variable
Free office space: Yes, by Piccadilly Circus

Notable Alumni:

WeFarm – A farmer-to-farmer digital network that’s raised over $1.6m since starting

RotaGeek – Predictive data-driven technologies to effectively and fairly schedule staff (and one of our members at Runway East Moorgate)

Find out more about Wayra here

TECHSTARS

Techstars is one of the most famous accelerator programs in the world. Worldwide they’ve supported over 1000 companies, 90% of which are active or have been acquired. Their London program is perfect for startups looking to tap into their 3,500 person strong network.

Preferences: Typically web-based or other software companies, but they’ve funded companies that don’t quite fit that mold as well.
Investment: A $100,000 convertible note is automatically offered to all Techstars companies upon acceptance. $20,000 in exchange for 6% common stock, plus other benefits
Equity: 6% common stock
Free office space: Yes, in West London

Notable Alumni:

Memgraph: The High Performance, In-Memory, Transactional Graph Database

Lifebit: LifeBit enables companies to do DNA analysis at scale.

Find out more about Techstars here
Or reach out to their London Program Manager Marko here

 

ENTREPRENEUR FIRST

One of London’s most well-respected accelerators, Entrepreneur First is an accelerator with a difference: you join as an individual with a desire to build a company, and EF helps you partner up, develop an idea and finally pitch in front of an audience of some of the world’s leading investors. They’re notable for focussing on technical founders.

Preferences: Deep Tech
Investment: EF provides you with capital to live in London during the programme, alongside making an investment of £60,000 in the company you create.
Equity: Variable
Free office space: Yes, in Bermondsey

Notable Alumni:

Magic Pony – Their machine-learning based approach for visual processing on web and mobile was snapped up by Twitter for a cool £120m less than three years after they were founded.

Find out more about Entrepreneur First here

STARTUPBOOTCAMP

Startupbootcamp accelerators cover various sector specific industries as they hunt for industry disruptors. The programmes help match ambitious founders with ambitious investors and provides support through a network of over 2000 alumni members. In London they’ve recently been running InsureTech, IoT and FinTech accelerators.

Preferences: Programme dependent
Investment: 15k plus benefits
Equity: 6-8%
Free office space: Yes

Notable Alumni:

Stockviews – Marketplace connecting professional investors with a network of independent equity analysts.

Find out more about Startupbootcamp here

THE BAKERY

The Bakery run corporate accelerators that get seed, late seed and Series A companies to market. Their accelerator programmes aim to solve big business problems and create revenue opportunities for startups. Since starting in 2013, they’ve run over 45 trials and created over £3million in revenue for startups from corporates.

Preferences: Adtech, AI, Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Big Data, Shopper Marketing, Fintech MarTech, Virtual Reality
Investment: Client collaboration
Free office space: Depend

Notable Clients:

BMW – Helped startup company collaborate with to aid their electric car customer solutions.
Stella Artois – Helped startup company collaborate to engage with their large customer base with a gifting app through Facebook.

Find out more about The Bakery here

MICROSOFT ACCELERATOR

The Microsoft accelerator scheme is a competitive programme for startups involved in Cloud, Internet and mobile. The 16-week course provides the necessary tools and workshops for startups to scale up as well as exposure to some of Microsoft’s leaders, customers and connections.

Preferences: Internet of Things, FinTech, Games, machine learning, cybersecurity, enterprise solutions or consumer apps
Investment: Available from their Venture arm but participation doesn’t guarantee it
Equity: No
Free office space: Yes

Notable Alumni:

Cloudflare – A web performance and security company that provides online services to protect and accelerate websites online.

Qingsong – Qinsong cloud security is committed to becoming your trusted Internet DDoS defense service provider.

Find out more about Microsoft Accelerator here

500 STARTUPS

The 500 Distro Dojo 12-week programme provides investment and guidance for startups at the post-seed stage. They provide a heavy focus on growth marketing and fundraising to help companies scale up.

Preference: Late stage
Investment: £100,000 – £200,000
Equity: Varies
Free office space: Yes (for the first 4 weeks only)

Notable Alumni:

So Sure – A U.K.-based phone insurance company that allows its users and their friends to connect and receive money back annually

Find out more about 500 Startups here

CYLON

CyLon was founded by leading security, investment and policy experts, and provides guidance for early stage cybersecurity companies over a 3-month programme, investing £15,000 in each team. Mentors at Cylon have included the likes of Dark Trace CTO Jack Stockdale, and the team has excellent links into the security industry.

Preferences: Cyber Security
Investment: 15k
Equity: 3%
Free office space: Yes, in West London

Notable Alumni:

Aves Netsek – Aves is a security system for enterprises who want to capture, observe and mitigate bad actors in their internal network.

Codified Security – A testing platform for mobile application software helping companies to detect and fix security vulnerabilities.

Find out more about Cylon here

INMOTION SEED PROGRAMME

The InMotion Seed Programme is backed by Jaguar Land Rover and focusses on the future of transport, mobility and travel. They invest globally at all stages from Seed to Series B, as well as providing access to JLR group and the expertise and support that entails.

Preferences: Mobility and smart transportation
Investment: Flexible, typically Pre-seed or Seed for the programme
Equity: Variable
Free office space: Yes

Notable Alumni:

GoKid – Carpool solution for schools, teams and active families

Validated – the free mobile app that lets shops and restaurants pay for your transportation.

Find out more about InMotion Ventures here

 

BETHNAL GREEN VENTURES

Bethnal Green Ventures provide a 12 week accelerator programme that focusses on supporting early stage startups that intend to tackle big social or environmental problems.

Preferences: HealthTech, EdTech, GreenTech, WorkerTech
Investment: 20k
Equity: 6%
Free office space: Yes, we won’t tell you where though you’d never guess

Notable Alumni:

Talklife – Social network focussing on youth mental health issues.

OurPath – OurPath is a smartphone application that coaches and motivates diabetes patients to live a healthier lifestyle.

Find out more about Bethnal Green Ventures here

COLLIDER

London’s leading Madtech accelerator, Collider helps technology startups that are marketing and sales driven by investing in them and connecting them with industry leaders. They look for disruptors and provide up to £100k to startups.

Preferences: Marketing and advertising
Investment: £50,000 – £100,000
Equity: 8% – 12%
Free office space: No

Notable Alumni:

Pixoneye – Harness the full potential of image understanding on mobile devices to allow predictive personalisation of mobile users.

Adlaunch – Advert video creation software.

Find out more about Collider here

PLATFORM-X

Virgin’s accelerator Platform-X gives service, product or technology startups and disruptors an opportunity for funding and growth in collaboration with Virgin. Their five-week plan provides funding, support and office space

Preferences: Service, product or technology
Investment: Possible funding for in market trials through the $25M Virgin Trains East Coast Innovation Fund.
Equity: No
Free office space: No

Find out more about Platform-X here

LMARKS

An early-stage investment and mentoring accelerator. Lmarks has an expansive network of corporate partners that they help to link with new companies who specialise in enterprise technologies or B2B2C solutions. They run a variety of programmes each year depending on which company they’re working with, so well worth checking what they’ve got going on – previous partners have been British Airways, Wincanton and BMW.

Preferences: Enterprise, B2B2C, Corporates
Investment: Programme dependent
Equity: Variable
Free office space: Depends on the program

Notable Alumni:

Pie Mapping – Provides a powerful connected fleet management solution for logistics and transportation companies –

Headstart – Headstart uses predictive algorithms to match students to opportunities at their dream companies.

Find out more about Lmarks here

JLAB

JLAB accelerator is provided by the John Lewis partnership and gives funding and guidance to the retail startups who make it onto the program. Participants in the 12-week programme are based in the John Lewis headquarters and have the opportunity of winning the retailer as their first customer.

Preferences: Foodtech, Healthtech, Foodtech, IoT, AI, SaaS, B2C
Investment: Up to 100k
Equity: Variable
Free office space: Yes

Notable Alumni:

Qudini – A software tool for service businesses with physical venues to seamlessly manage their resources, customers and operations, all within a single platform.

Find out more about JLAB here

BARCLAYS ACCELERATOR

In collaboration with Techstars, the Barclays Accelerator in London offers a 13-week programme with the aim of helping Fintech startups through network connections and professional guidance. This mentor-driven programme brings corporates, innovators and investors together.

Preferences: Fintech
Investment: Up to 120k
Equity: 6% common stock (standard Techstars stake)
Free office space: Yes

Notable Alumni:

Dopay – Dopay provides a cloud-based payroll service that allows employers to calculate salaries and make payments electronically.

Aire – Aire gives people a new credit score to help them qualify for essential financial products.

Find out more about Barclay’s Accelerator here

FOUNDERS FACTORY

Founded and chaired by Brent Hoberman CBE, co-founder and former CEO of Lastminute.com, Founder’s Factory is an accelerator and incubator for technology startups. Based just on the edge of Hyde Park in Kensington, Hoberman and company use their business experience and connections to help startups grow in this six-month program. Founder’s Factory has access to top partnerships with corporations in their preferred fields, including Aviva, L’Oreal and EasyJet.

Preferences: AI & Big Data, Beauty, Fintech, Media, Travel and Education
Investment: 30k cash and 220k in services
Equity: 7%
Free office space: Yes, in Kensington. Included in part of 220k services.

Notable Alumni:

Previse – AI algorithm that enables businesses to pay their invoices more efficiently

People.io – Provides users with control over the access, use and value of their personal data

Find out more about Founders Factory here

Just as important as accelerators, London seed Investors can help get your startup off the ground. To find out more check out our list of 60+ Seed Investors in London.

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