Ignite Launches It’s Next London Accelerator Programme
Founded in 2011, Ignite has delivered 9 accelerator programmes, investing over £2m into more than 80 companies and we have now launched our 10th programme which will be investing in early stage startups in London starting from the end of September.
We’re keen to meet new mentors and angels who who would like to be involved in the next programme. We are backed by one of the most experienced and active group of UK angels, our programme features a strong network of mentors and investors that gives our startups an unfair advantage.
We are passionate believers in investing primarily in strong teams who have industry experience and who are looking to change the way that a market operates. Our experience over the last 5 years shows that we can help strong teams to deliver innovation that is potentially world changing by helping them refine their proposition and introducing them to the right mentors and investors.
Our first London cohort launched in January of this year. The ten companies were extremely diverse, ranging from a platform connecting smallholder farmers with supermarkets in South Africa, to a hardware/software solution for crowd management, with everything in between. Collectively they represented the strongest Ignite cohort we have seen so far, and since the programme ended in April they’ve gone from strength to strength. So far, six of the companies have raised seed rounds, ranging in size from £120,000 to £400,000, with much of the funding coming from their initial programme investors.
When we launched our first London programme, we described what we saw as a big opportunity in the London accelerator market. Entrepreneurs struggled to find an established programme that offered support to early-stage businesses and investment to allow founders to focus exclusively on their business. This created an untapped market of strong teams that were unsupported by the current market of programmes, either because these programmes targeted later-stage teams or experienced entrepreneurs, or offered no investment.
This opportunity still persists. The positive reception that our first London programme received – engaged and active mentors, sold-out investor lunches and a packed end-of-programme showcase – confirmed that there is a real need for what we are offering. We want to build on this momentum and produce another full programme before Christmas.
We’re confident in our ability to deliver a programme as strong as the last, that will discover exceptional talent and support it through an experienced management team, mentors and investors.
Ignite History and Background
Ignite was established in Newcastle in 2011 and ran one accelerator per year in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Following the early success of the programme, in 2014 we decided to run three accelerators per year. Until the end of 2015 these had all been based in Newcastle upon Tyne, but in 2016 we expanded our reach across the UK and ran programmes in London and Manchester.
Ignite’s management team is one of the most experienced in Europe having personally delivered more than a dozen accelerator programmes between them over the last five years:
Martyn Davies, Programme Director – London, a developer by trade he worked as SendGrid’s European lead before joining Ignite after a regular turn as a mentor and venture partner. He held roles at the BBC and Universal Music Group before founding his own API development company. He serves as a non-exec director and advisor to several startups including Ignite alumni Chew.tv and Leaf.fm.
Tristan Watson, CEO, was one of the founders that took part in one of the UK’s first mentor-led accelerator programme (Difference Engine) and went on to raise VC investment. He’s an occasional angel investor and specialises in working with teams on business planning, financial forecasting and investment strategy.
Jon Bradford, Advisor and Co-Founder, set up the Springboard accelerator before co-founding Ignite and then going on to set up Techstars London. Jon is an active advisor to Ignite as well as co-founder of F6S and Tech.eu
Ignite is privileged to enjoy the support of some of the UK’s most successful tech entrepreneurs as both programme Angels and supporters of Ignite. We have worked with some of the UK’s top VCs who have invested in our portfolio companies including Balderton, Passion Capital, EC1 and Frontline.
Some highlights include:
Reposit (Q1 2016) Reposit is disrupting the housing tenancy deposit market. Instead of paying the usual 6 or 8 weeks of rent upfront, new tenants can purchase a Reposit for the cost of one week’s rent. The team of three are based in London and have raised a £400,000 seed round since the programme finished in April.
Moltin (Q4 2013) Moltin provides developers with the building blocks needed to build eCommerce websites and mobile applications through cloud-based APIs. Built by a team of three from Newcastle, they have since gone on to take part in Y Combinator and have raised a seed round from investors including Frontline Ventures.
Jinn (Q4 2013) Jinn is an on-demand concierge app that will deliver you anything you want within one hour. Initially launching in just West London the service is available in five cities across the UK. Jinn is generating significant revenue and has just raised a $7.5m Series A round.
Flux (Q2 2015) Flux brings the power and flexibility of programmatic ad buying to Digital out of Home (DooH) screens allowing a much wider range of companies to advertise on digital signs and billboards. A great example of how Ignite seeks out and supports new entrepreneurial talent, Flux was founded by two engineering graduates from Newcastle University following graduation.
Leaf.fm (Q3 2014) A passionate team of music lovers, designers and developers, Leaf is a mobile first experience, using tech built on top of YouTube and social content to empower artists and music creators to regain direct control of their fanbase to promote and monetise content and merchandise. The Leaf.fm app has already received several hundred thousand downloads around the world and continues to show significant growth and traction. The team raised over £450,000 in 2015, leveraging Ignite’s investor network to raise through Doug Scott’s Angellist syndicate and Northstar Ventures.
If you’re interested in being involved with the next programme please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org