MassChallenge TM , the most startupfriendly accelerator on the planet, has officially opened UK applications for its 2016 startup accelerator programme.
There will be a particular push on encouraging disruptive talent in key growth sectors from across the UK in areas such as interactive media, life sciences, cleantech, fintech, and cyber security, but startups from all sectors are invited to apply.
The programme connects the UK’s most promising early stage companies with the right resources to help drive growth, create value, and solve real world problems. During the three months of acceleration, entrepreneurs receive mentorship, free office space, education, access to a vast network of experts, investors, industry partners, and other resources. At the end of the programme, MassChallenge provides shares of £500,000 in noequity, nondilutive cash awards to those startups demonstrating the most impact and potential.
“This is our second accelerator cycle in London and we’re looking forward to recruiting another incredible group of highimpact startups and stimulating regional growth in the process” said MassChallenge UK Managing Director, Kerry Ritz. “Being accepted on the accelerator presents a significant opportunity for an earlystage company to propel itself along the road to business success. Our panel of judges are leaders in their field and worldclass experts from a range of industries, so they know a startup with the potential to succeed when they see one.”
Competition for places is likely to be fierce, as research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that participating in MassChallenge more than doubles a startup’s likelihood of raising significant funding and reaching 15 employees. Last year less than ten percent of applicants were accepted (browse the MassChallenge UK startup alumni here ). Judges for MassChallenge UK applications in 2015 included Casper Woolley, Cofounder of Hailo, Steve Perry, former COO of Visa Europe, Henry Lane Fox, Head of Product Development at LastMinute.com, Nadia Crandall, CoFounder of Harvard Business Angels, and Tim Campbell, the first winner of the Apprentice and founder of the Bright Ideas Trust.
As a leading investor in female entrepreneurs, MassChallenge is also keen to see application from startups founded by women. In 2015, 39% of MassChallenge teams had at least one female founder, well above the industry standard. A recent TechCrunch study highlighted MassChallenge as the top organisation for investing in startups with a female founder, with 42 percent of its awards going to femalefounded startups.
“There’s a universal need and responsibility to help earlystage startups across all industries and backgrounds succeed as they set out to solve some of society’s biggest problems,” said John Harthorne, MassChallenge Founder and CEO. “Communities that focus on creating an environment that’s open, collaborative, and supportive will drive more value, opportunities and wealth as a result. We’re proud to continue advocating for this movement and fueling innovation around the world as part of our global accelerator.”
The UK startup accelerator programme is just one of several MassChallenge accelerators taking place around the world, including Boston, Mexico, Switzerland, and Israel. In 2015, MassChallenge received over 2,250 applications globally from more than 60 countries. MassChallenge UK also recently announced new sponsors BCG, Eversheds and Swiss Re to join its other corporate, foundation, and public sponsors. All early stage startups from all industries are eligible to apply for MassChallenge UK. The deadline for applications is 29 June, 2016. To apply visit: apply.masschallenge.org/uk .