Home » Culture » World's Largest Start-up Accelerator and Competition Open for Entries
World's Largest Start-up Accelerator and Competition Open for Entries
by Startacus Admin
World’s largest start-up accelerator and competition open for applications
You may have heard of the successful accelerator programme called MassChallenge, which takes place annually in the Massachusetts city of Boston.
This refreshing accelerator programme, which takes zero (yes, zero) equity, provides entrepreneurs with free resources and opportunities to help them succeed. Some of the great things that they provide include expert mentorship, office space, in-kind products and services, and access to a global network of resources and support.
We welcome the news that the team at MassChallenge will be delivering their unique brand of start-up support to the UK with their first London-based accelerator programme, MassChallenge UK. Applications must be in by the 1st of April 2015, so now's the time to get yours underway!
This summer, up to 100 start-ups will be put through their paces in an intensive 4 month programme, promoting fast and sustainable business growth.
The programme will be based in London’s Tobacco Dock and will provide entrepreneurs with a huge range of start-up support including expert mentorship, office space, in-kind products and services, and the benefits that come from access to their global network of resources and specialist start-up support.
As if this weren’t enough, MassChallenge is funded by corporate, public and foundation partners which means that start-ups don’t have to hand over equity for the privilege of being included; this is a free accelerator, with absolutely no strings attached. Now that’s what we like to hear!
The team at MassChallenge have been treated to an enormous amount of encouragement over their plan to bring the world’s largest start-up accelerator and competition to these shores, with high level support pouring in from organisations such as NatWest, Unilever, and Visa Europe but also the highest seats of UK power including Downing Street and the London mayoral office.
MassChallenge CEO John Harthorne explains:
“Ever since Prime Minister David Cameron invited us to launch MassChallenge UK, we've had great opportunities to connect with innovation leaders throughout Britain. Thanks to the support of hundreds of entrepreneurs and partners, MassChallenge UK is well positioned to provide start-ups equity-free access to the resources they need to launch in London and grow globally.”
The Record So Far
MassChallenge has one of the most enviable reputations in the business, built on the incredible success of the Boston programme, and certain only to grow further with their jump across the pond.
Since its inception in 2010, 617 start-ups have taken part in the Boston programme and collectively gone on to raise an eye-watering $700 million. As well as this, alumni of the programme have also been instrumental in the creation of over 4,800 jobs and have generated $400 million in revenue.
The benefits of having a world-renowned accelerator like this setting up base here could be enormous, not only for London, but the whole of the UK, Europe, and much further afield.
Managing Director of Tobacco Dock Patrick Donovan has high ambitions for the project:
“MassChallenge UK is set to grow into Europe’s most successful and high profile business accelerator programme. The Dock is supporting MassChallenge UK because we believe that the program will be a huge success in the UK and Europe and will be the perfect partner in developing our vision for The Dock as London’s most iconic co-working space.”
Who are they looking for?
The great news is that MassChallenge is a very open programme and doesn’t place a mountain of seemingly ridiculous caveats and provisos on prospective applicants.
The programme welcomes applications from early stage start-ups, working in any industry, from anywhere in the world.
The application process.
Start-ups will go through an online judging process with written feedback, and selected start-ups will then be invited to pitch in London. From these, up to 100 of the most impressive start-ups will take part in the accelerator from June to October 2015 at Tobacco Dock London.
The whole process culminates in a competition during which the start-ups compete for a share of £500k of non-dilutive cash prizes, which will be awarded to the companies showing the highest impact and potential. Of these prizes, the top amount is a very respectable £50K.
Entrepreneurs can apply here for the UK programme or if Boston sounds a little more to your taste you can apply for that one instead!
The closing date for both intakes is 1st April 2015, but there is an early bird deadline of March 3rd which will let you benefit from a 50% discount on the application fee!
Info sessions which offer the opportunity to meet MassChallenge UK staff and get more information are also being held in various locations in London and around the UK. For a schedule, please visit the events list.