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Top 5 London Accelerators for Startups

London is the UK and Europe's epicentre for technology and innovation. Business accelerators play a significant role in elevating businesses to their most entire heights through funding and mentorship.

London accelerators: a startup ecosystem

London ranks third in the world when it comes to startup ecosystems. One of the main reasons for that is that London is one of the best-connected startup ecosystems with innovators worldwide. The quest to become the most innovative city in the world is also propelling entrepreneurship in the city.

Most of the leading businesses in the world are success stories of these programs. But who or what kind of businesses are eligible to benefit from these accelerators?

Startups and scale-ups are eligible to get support from most, if not all, accelerators. For startups, they must at least be beyond the establishment stage. Tech accelerator programs backed by private investment firms, investors, inventors, and venture capitalists provide business owners financing opportunities, education, and mentorship.

The local government in London recently made investments to magnify the city's entrepreneurship commitments. This is likely to be a significant plus for most London accelerators.

This article covers the top five London accelerators based on what they offer. The list usually changes with time depending on several factors like expertise, oversight, equity, and outcomes. Let's get started.

RocketSpace

RocketSpace is regarded as one of the best and most unique accelerators in the technology industry. It supports scale-ups with high tech and industry-focused insight, expertise, and action. Also, the program uses technology to bring together corporate leaders and startups in transforming industries.

The design of the program allows ongoing strategic development through partnership opportunities and qualified corporate collaborators. This collaborative industry model also helps startups that are at later stages to grow and validate their businesses.

This program is more than the ordinary accelerators. For tech startups, you have great long-term success opportunities and unlock limitless innovations while working alongside experienced entrepreneurs. Access to flexible workspace, professional development programming, and convenient members-only networking events benefit RocketSpace programs.

RocketSpace has zero equity requirements. This is one of the unique features of this program because most of the other programs have equity as a requirement. Without the need, RocketSpace runs a successful program without any biases.

Another plus for RocketSpace is that startups continuously access investment opportunities. As part of the program design, startups hold meetings with collaborators and other stakeholders. During the sessions, startups have a chance to explore partnership opportunities and pilot solutions.

Validation of production is more accessible with RocketSpace. Some programs don't include the product validation phase, which is essential in advancing startup-corporate partnerships.

RocketSpace offers a virtual curriculum for startup cohorts during the early stages of collaboration to expand startups knowledge of the industry.

Success stories include Klarna, Podio, Blippar, Duolingo, Skyroam, Upwork, Wish, Uber, and Leap Motion.

Seedcamp

Seedcamp can best be described as a program with a vast team consisting of operators, founders, makers, executors, tech-enthusiasts, and investors. Working with corporate entities, Seedcamp has promoted early-stage, micro-seed businesses with more than 650 entrepreneurs in over 150 startups within 28 industries.

Their mission states that, based on experience, successful companies come in different sizes and shapes but with a few similarities at early stages. This includes their customer satisfaction, the market size of their opportunities, quality of the founding team, and more. Seedcamp related companies have benefited from over $900m in follow-on funding since August 2017.

Early-stage startups are usually encouraged to apply for this program because multiple investment opportunities in terms of dilution preferences and cash are available. The program design includes a one-week intensive training program and workshop. The startups get to meet corporate partners to learn more about getting better out of their businesses.

Seedcamp doesn't have many requirements for an entrepreneur to apply in their programs. They only require innovative founders willing to solve global problems or in large markets. According to them, startups are in a better position to handle international issues.

The startups can benefit from over €500k service discounts. They gain exposure to angel investors, private equity, and multinational venture capitalists. Access to working space in London and other parts of Europe.

Some of the success stories include Revolut, WeFox, Zemanta, Trussle, and Pleo.

Founders Factory

As the name suggests, this is one of the best partners for founders. It provides early and late-stage businesses with access to top-tier digital talents and entrepreneurs. More than 200 innovative businesses have benefited from the program across six key technology sectors.

With support from L'Oreal, Guardian Media Group, Aviva, and others, Founders Factory has promoted successful business in Europe. They provide forward-thinking corporations with opportunities to develop innovative and high-quality products. All corporations working with Founders Factory have the insight and ability to help startups with easy access to a market.

The corporates also help startups gain potential clients while creating a lasting relationship between the customer and the business. The program targets six key tech sectors: education, media, artificial intelligence, finance, beauty, and travel.

This is a six-month program where multiple verticals and disciplines get £30K cash and another £200K in services. There is also access to a wide range of experts across the disciplines and verticals.

There are no significant requirements besides six months commitments by the businesses. You can benefit from free desk space, corporate partnership opportunities, and exclusive events during that period. You only need to be an entrepreneur ready to start a business or already created but scale it up.

The program's design allows corporate partners to meet with entrepreneurs, especially at the beginning to enlighten them more on the agenda. This is also a chance for entrepreneurs to check on possible business solutions and possibly spot opportunities.

This program's success stories include ChargedUp, Luther Systems, Vidsy, LuckyTrip, Sampler, Cortechs, Fanbytes, and Cosmose.

Startupbootcamp

Startupbootcamp, as the name suggests, is mainly focused on startups and small businesses. It accelerates over 21 programmes spread across major cities like London, Amsterdam, New York, and more. The accelerator focuses on specific vertical techs like finance, commerce, transportation, energy, and food in each location.

In this case, we focus on London's Startupbootcamp, which offers financial startups and early-stage insurances with three months accelerated development programmes. During this time, the selected startups guarantee to get €15K in cash and access to around or more than €500K deals with leading brands like Hubspot, Amazon, and more.

Since 2010, when Startupbootcamp was developed, more than 450 startups have benefited with around €240m. The programs also include a course that allows portfolio companies to access alumni growth and members-only events.

One significant advantage of these accelerators is that any startup can access the benefits regardless of the stage. Major requirements are that startups be in the program city and willing to commit for three months. Corporate and mentor partnership opportunities are available within and after the three months.

Among the benefits startups get is six months of mentor and partnership opportunities, living expenses are taken care of, technology discounts, and free office space. Some of the success stories include Mint Solutions, LoyaltyLion, and Relayr.

Techstars

Last but certainly not least, we have Techstars. Best described as a worldwide network helping entrepreneurs succeed, it's one of the best London accelerators because it is home to a rapidly growing international community of innovators, founders, investors, and tech in general.

More than 1,024 retail, health, mobility, autonomy, and more have benefited from over $3.8b in a market cap of around $9.9b. All companies that accepted get a $100k convertible note. That also comes with access to resources for life, $20k in a six per cent stock exchange, equity back guarantee, and a 90-day program.

There are no essential requirements as long as you can commit to the program for 90 days. You must also possess a wide range of skills and be flexible with changes in the tech industry.

Startups meet with corporate partners and a global network of mentors to help them make the right decisions about their business. The mentors also encourage and advise startups on potential challenges and how to go about them. Apart from that, they get 400 perks worth over $1m and three months of office space.

Success stories include Memgraph, SwiftComply, Unmade, Coconut, Sphero, and Accountancy Cloud (yes, that's us!).

Final Thoughts

Lately, exciting things have been happening in the AI capital. It's home to essential startup accelerators that help startups across the globe, a fact that's evident from the success stories that we have already covered in all those programs

When selecting an accelerator, it's important to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the program and how best it aligns with your business goals. The above London accelerators are best for startups that require rapid growth. Check on the expertise and outcome of a program before making a decision.

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