Accelerating the UK
A free report on the UK’s startup accelerator programmes
Accelerators are a vital part of the UK’s early-stage company ecosystem, going from strength-to-strength in the last few years. We’ve analysed this network of programmes, and the companies that have been through them, to identify trends and future movements in the accelerator ecosystem.
What is an accelerator?Simply put, an accelerator offers programmes to help startups grow. The number of these programmes has grown dramatically in the last few years, with accelerators specialising in everything from niche verticals to a specific stage of company growth. We believe (and indeed our data shows) that attending an accelerator is a good indicator of a company’s potential to grow big and fast. But with such a wide variety of accelerators and related programmes like incubators, startup studios and co-working spaces, it can be difficult to tell which of these programmes are true indicators of future success. In order to validate the ambition and growth prospects of their participants, we believe an accelerator programme must meet the following criteria: This report looks at accelerator programmes that have met these criteria, and are based in the UK.
number of accelerators
number of accelerator managers
number of recorded attendances
The number of accelerator attendances has increased significantly year-on-year since our records began in 2011, growing to a record 1,486 in 2017. With accelerators now such a popular option for young companies, awareness of accelerators among entrepreneurs has increased significantly. There is also a wide range of programmes available, with companies now able to be far more selective about the programmes they choose to join.
Less positively, there are fears about companies becoming “accelerator junkies”, jumping from programme to programme. CyLon, a cybersecurity specialist accelerator, raised concerns about this, admitting they aren’t keen on businesses who participated in more than two other ‘for equity’ accelerator programmes.