A startup accelerator programme is typically a fixed, short-term, intensive educational course to help startup companies grow and scale their businesses.  Some even, don’t require you to have a business idea to start; just a notion of the field you have expertise, passion or interest in.  They typically last a few weeks to 6 months, provide mentorship, resources, connection to investors and even provide you with some initial capital to get you going.  There are 100s of accelerator programmes, and we’ve not met a founder yet who has regretted taking part in one to get their business off the ground.  But we do speak to founders who are overwhelmed with the choice of which one to choose!  So we have listed our favourite 8 (well seven, plus a very supportive VC that provides a great framework for businesses to flourish) startup accelerators with a focus on software-first that either have origins in the UK or support British companies as well as others around the world.

Please continue reading to find out who the programmes are for, how long they last, what they entail and whether they’re accepting applications now.  We’ve provided links to make your search that much easier.  And if we can help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Bethnal Green Ventures

Bethnal Green

  • For Whom: Targets early-stage tech for good startups in social, green technology, healthcare, and education aiming for societal impact.
  • Goal: Helps founders launch their early-stage ventures with £60k of investment (for 7% equity) through an intensive learning for prototype stage ventures. They then help companies grow with further support and investment up to Series A.
  • Programme Duration: 12 weeks; 6 weeks of intensive learning plus 6 weeks of coaching tailored to your needs.
  • Location: London, UK.
  • Application Deadline: Currently closed, but will be opening up soon for Autumn cohort. You can still speak to the team and get notified when the next programme application opens here.
  • Funding & Benefits: £60k for a 7% stake.
  • Additional Info: https://www.bethnalgreenventures.com/our-offer

Techstars LondonTechstars London

  • For Whom: A global network assisting startups including tech giants like SendGrid, Uber and Twilio.
  • Goal: Help entrepreneurs succeed via an intense programme with great mentors and a fabulous network of corporate partners, investors and alumni.  They provide support with networking, vision execution, getting access to capital, finding customers, mentoring, hiring talent, fundraising preparation and more.
  • Programme Duration: 3 months.
  • Location: London, UK.
  • Application Deadline: Applications open all year-round and will be considered on a rolling basis. Apply here.
  • Funding & Benefits: They invest up to $120,000 in each of the accelerator startups; purchasing the right to 6% of the company’s Fully Diluted Capital Stock at the Qualified Financing and provide $20,000 upfront. They will be issued the 6% common shares immediately before the Company’s next equity financing of $250,000 or more.
  • Additional Info: https://www.techstars.com/accelerator-hub

Founders FactoryFounders-Factory

  • For Whom: Focuses on tech startups at various stages. Fields they have a keen interest in are Fintech, Climate, Health and Deep Tech.  There are a few different programmes available including their Venture Studio and Accelerator.
  • Goal: Provides hands-on support across different business areas including raising capital, operational support, corporate partnerships, PR and communications, and give you access to a vast community and network.
  • Programme Duration: 6 months.
  • Location: London, UK.
  • Application Deadline: You can apply here today.
  • Funding & Benefits: Companies joining the Accelerator receive £30-250k in addition to 6 months support for up to 7% equity.
  • Additional Info: https://foundersfactory.com/

Baltic VenturesBaltic Ventures Logo

  • For Whom: Early-stage tech startups with global ambition.
  • Goal: Building tomorrow’s solutions with a four-month programme with a top tier team of coaches and advisors, that includes investment, weekly workshops, VC investor meetings and mentorship.
  • Programme Duration: 4 months.
  • Location: Baltic Triangle, Liverpool, England.
  • Application Deadline: Applications for 2024 open on 1st May 2024.
  • Funding & Benefits: Includes above as well as £50,000 investment as an Advance Subscription Agreement (ASA), office space access, partners, talent programme, networking tips and more!
  • Additional Info: https://balticventures.uk/

Entrepreneur Firstentrepreneur-first-logo-vector

  • For Whom: Students, recent graduates, early career professionals globally.
  • Goal: Build startups from scratch, focusing on technology-oriented companies.
  • Programme Duration: Varies depending on programme you opt for.  There are Core and Graduate programmes in the following locations.
  • Location: London, Paris, Bangalore, San Francisco.
  • Application Deadline: Specific to the programme, check out more here. You can register your interest and apply today.
  • Funding & Benefits: As well as some expert support upon signing your offer to join the programme, you will receive a £6k advance of the EF pre-seed investment in your company.  Read more about the Ts and Cs here.
  • Additional Info: https://www.joinef.com/

NatWest AcceleratorNatwest Entrepreneur Accelerator

  • For Whom: UK entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses.
  • Goal: Offers one-to-one coaching, events, office space, and network access.  The goal of the programme is to help you gain knowledge and skills to excel in a range of areas including; accessing new markets, attractive talent and building an effective team, access to growth funding, leadership development and developing a scalable infrastructure.
  • Programme Duration: Ongoing support.
  • Location: Across UK and Ireland.
  • Application Deadline: Applications open all the time.
  • Funding & Benefits: Free programme, specific benefits offered.
  • Additional Info: https://www.natwest.com/business/business-services/entrepreneur-accelerator.html

Barclays Accelerator, Powered by TechstarsBarclays Accelerator Powered by TechStars

  • For Whom: Specifically designed for FinTech startups looking for an incredible opportunity to scale their businesses.
  • Goal: To offer startups a unique blend of guidance from Barclays and Techstars, helping them to take their business further with access to two powerful networks, Barclays technology, and world-class mentorship.
  • Programme Duration: 13 weeks.
  • Location: Primarily based in London and New York, but it’s a global program with applications and participation from around the world.
  • Application Deadline: Varies; please check the current status directly on their website.
  • Funding & Benefits: Startups can receive up to $120,000 investment from Techstars, depending on their location, along with mentorship, access to technical expertise, co-working spaces, and the opportunity to pitch to the tech community. Additionally, participants gain lifetime membership to the prestigious Techstars alumni network.
  • Additional Info: https://home.barclays/who-we-are/innovation/barclays-accelerator/


  • For Whom: Not strictly an accelerator but “a VC that acts with agility, industry knowledge and connection of an angel.” Has a focus on backing world-class founders, whilst they don’t favour particular sectors, they are considered to be software-first investors.  They don’t tend to invest in capital-intensive businesses requiring physical products and hardware.
  • Goal: to identify and invest in world-class founders, supporting them in building impactful global companies.
  • Programme Duration: Not applicable
  • Location: London, UK.
  • Application Deadline: Always open; get started here.
  • Funding & Benefits: They invest typically anywhere from $350k to $1m in Angel rounds to Seed. Read more here about the process and what’s involved.
  • Additional Info: https://seedcamp.com/

For those ready to embark on this transformative journey, exploring these accelerators could be the first step towards turning visionary ideas into reality. With each offering unique advantages and a supportive community, the path to impactful innovation and global reach has never been more accessible. We wish you the best of luck!

Natalie Harper

Author Natalie Harper

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