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December 15, 2014

UK fast becoming best place for start-ups

Number of accelerator and incubator programmes has risen by 110%.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Accelerators and incubator start-up programmes operating in the UK are among the fastest growing in Europe, as the number has risen by more than 110% in the last three years.

The latest report from mobile operator O2, found that 1,100 UK start-ups had participated in 59 programmes in 2014, with the average investment averaging more than £68,000.

Accelerators provide funding, mentoring and training sessions to help start-ups develop their ideas, usually over a three-month period, while incubators bring in an external management team to manage an idea that was developed internally.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: "With more than double the number of incubators and accelerators today than in 2011, the UK is fast becoming the best place in the world to start and grow a business."

"From London’s Tech City to exciting new clusters in Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester, large companies and Government are coming together to help foster exciting new businesses."

The study also found that businesses which had participated in these support programmes were more likely to survive than those that hadn’t, with a two-year survival rate of 92% for "graduated" start-ups compared to 76% of all small businesses.

All in all, more than 40% of all start-up programmes in the UK are currently privately run, with a third of these receiving backing from public sector organisations.

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Feilim Mackle, O2’s sales and service Director in the UK, said: "Start-ups play an important part in contributing to the innovation the UK needs to remain globally competitive, and the report shows that accelerated start-ups have a far greater chance of success."

"Having set up the Wayra London Academy over two years ago, we have seen first-hand the advantages of acceleration; more than $28.6m has been raised for Wayra’s companies."

"But it isn’t just the start-ups that benefit, by fostering and investing in these start-ups, we as a big business are able to learn from them and also bring the best products and services to our customers."


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