Microsoft Launches Accelerator for UK Startups

, 2013 —
Microsoft is taking applications from UK technology and gaming startups for a new accelerator programme in London. Startup founders and entrepreneurs can find more information and apply here. The 12 week programme will focus on helping high-potential startups grow their business through a combination of 1:1 mentoring, technical assistance and access to resources designed for startups striving to break new ground in cloud, internet, mobile or gaming.

“If you’re a technology or gaming startup with a great team, a great idea and an unfaltering belief in what you do, you are the perfect candidate for the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in London,” says Anand Krishnan, General Manager, Developer and Platform Group, Microsoft Limited. “Microsoft is committed to helping startups grow their business by providing access to our ecosystem of partners and routes-to-market.”

The accelerator will initially be based at Central Working in Shoreditch. Startups will be given the opportunity to work with a variety of established businesses and organisations, such as: London Business School; financial institutions, professional services and venture firms: KPMG, Barclays, Jenson Solutions, Ventures in Motion Ltd. and Penningtons Solicitors; and gaming experts: Train2Game, Lift London and Lionhead Studios. Microsoft Ventures has also received recognition from a range of organisations working to support the growth of the technology sector, including Tech City UK, London & Partners, Capital Enterprise, TIGA and Ukie, as a key new contributor to the UK startup community.

At the culmination of the programme, the startups will present their ideas at a demo day to a panel of venture capitalists, investors and mentors within the technology community. Successful candidates may attain funding, a licensing deal or the option to join another accelerator, incubator or potentially one of Microsoft’s gaming studios.

James Layfield, CEO at Central Working adds: “We’re thrilled that Microsoft has chosen to launch its London accelerator programme at Central Working. We provide the ideal environment in which bigger businesses, startups and SMEs can meet. Our strength is in fostering and encouraging collaboration. We’re looking forward to seeing more businesses grow as a result.”

Microsoft Ventures was announced in June 2013 and serves as a strategic partner for promising startups around the world focused on business growth and customer development. The accelerator in London is the latest to be announced as part of a global footprint of 10 accelerators that are planned to open.

Of the 119 companies that have already participated in the global Microsoft Ventures programme, to date, 85% received funding on demo day or within six months. The London accelerator is open to startups that are focused on pursuing their vision full-time and are at seed stage. Applicants will benefit from membership of BizSpark, which gives eligible startups access to three years of free software, support and visibility, as well as a fast track onto BizSpark Plus.

About Microsoft:

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software services and solutions. The UK Headquarters are in Reading, with satellite offices in London, Edinburgh, Chertsey and Manchester, and a research laboratory, Microsoft Research, in Cambridge. Committed long term to the mission of helping its customers realise their full potential, Microsoft constantly updates and improves its products. The company also seeks to deliver innovative new technologies that help to change the lives of people who use them for the better.

About Microsoft Ventures

Visit Microsoft Ventures at to learn more about how Microsoft is helping the next generation of smart companies take flight and keep up to date with the latest developments relating to the Microsoft London Accelerator at: @MSFTventuresUK.

About Central Working

Central Working offers its members the support, infrastructure and tools needed to create the connections, momentum and recognition to grow their businesses. With three permanent clubs in Central London; Bloomsbury, Shoreditch & Campus, and more to follow, Central Working is an innovative and rapidly growing business. CEO, James Layfield, was voted Entrepreneur of the year 2012 and Central Working was cited as one of the UK’s top 100 startups 2012. In 2013 Central Working was recognised as one of the UK’s fastest-growing, high potential companies as part of Accelerate 250.
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