Business Technology

Support for 1,000 British entrepreneurs with Accelerator Network, NatWest, Crowdcube and more

3 min read

20 April 2015

Former deputy editor

The Accelerator Network, a high-growth startup support service, has officially opened for business with a target of delivering guidance to 1,000 UK entrepreneurs each year alongside NatWest, Crowdcube, Dell, Virgin and Visa.

The company has a focus on tech and digital media innovations and was created by the team behind the Accelerator Academy, which provides 12-week mentoring programmes to aspiring business owners.

According to mayor of London Boris Johnson: “The Accelerator Academy represents exactly the type of investment in London’s future businesses that will secure our position as Europe’s digital capital.”

Meanwhile, The Accelerator Network will look to provide 1,000 entrepreneurs annually with guidance and training around ideas, investment and more through bootcamps, coaching, innovation challenges and other resources. It has been funded by White Horse Capital and the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund.

“The UK is now a fantastic place to start a business – from world-class accelerator programmes, through to incubation, and access to angel investment and venture capital,” said Ian Merricks, chair of The Accelerator Network and managing partner of White Horse Capital.

“We believe the next phase of growth will focus on uniting the entrepreneurial support ecosystem, and strengthening engagement with value-adding corporates, government departments and funding partners.

“Our plan is to create the most efficient connections to capital and clients for high growth tech startups in the UK. We’ve already attracted fantastic partnerships with the likes of NatWest, Crowdcube, Dell, Virgin and Visa, and we’re excited to launch officially.”

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Although it has only just officially launched, The Accelerator Network already has a project running in partnership with The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). 

Together, the firms are uniting 50 cyber security experts from 13 UK universities for a hackathon in June 2015, which will result in the development of technology services to protect British businesses from online attacks.

At the time, Ed Vaizey, minister for the digital economy, said: “Protecting and promoting the UK’s digital economy is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan, so it’s crucial we have the skills to do this now and in the future.”

The Accelerator Network will also take over Accelerator Academy operations, such as the the FFWD London joint venture with City University London, which delivers mentoring to budding marketing, accounting and tech entrepreneurs.

Katie Lewis, The Accelerator Network’s programme director, said: “The array of support services on offer can be difficult for entrepreneurs to navigate.  The Accelerator Network will deliver joined up support for high growth tech and digital media startups, throughout the business’ lifecycle.”