What's it all about? 2023 Ignite Accelerator

June 26, 2023

Applications for our 2023 Accelerator Programme are open until July 24th.

But what’s it all about? The term Accelerator is used quite broadly and as a busy startup founder, we know you are stretched for time. How do you decide if the Ignite Accelerator is right for you?

We’ve provided an overview of what happens in our Accelerator, who it’s designed for, and what it looked like last year. Plus, we’ve opened up one-to-one slots with our CEO, Jo, for anyone who has questions about the programme (No-longer available).

1. What is the Accelerator?

Funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, our 2023 Accelerator helps founders prepare for raising investment to scale their startup and compete globally.

The investment-focused Accelerator focuses on helping founders adopt a global growth mindset, looking at investment landscapes both within and beyond the North East of England, and raise their knowledge of the fundraising landscape.

The programme is delivered over the course of 8-weeks. During these 8 weeks, founders will be surrounded by other startups who are looking to raise investment, mentors who have experience raising, and will benefit from various tailored workshops and talks.

This programme is completely free for founders to participate in and no equity is taken. However, we do require either the founder themselves or their startup to be based in the North of Tyne area (we class North of Tyne as Newcastle, Northumberland or North Tyneside).

Welcome to San Francisco airport sign

2. Who is it for?

This programme is designed for more established companies — startups who have validated their model and have proven they are solving real problems for real people.

You will likely already have customers. You may have just completed a pilot with them, or you may already have been trading for a few years.

You will be looking to raise significant investment either now or in the near future. You may or may not already have raised before. We’ve worked with founders who were completely new to the investment space, as well as founders who had already raised over £500k. Much of the programme support is one-to-one, so we can tailor it to founders who are at different stages of raising.

You don’t necessarily need to have a tech business, but we do focus on startups that have scaling potential. By this, we mean startups that have models that can scale more easily (so you’re not reliant on a linear growth relation between x-number of staff and x-number of customers, as might be the case with service-based businesses).

As part of this programme, we require founders (or their startups) to be based in the North of Tyne.

Team meal with the Accelerator 2022 teams

3. What commitment is required of me?

If you have co-founders, we require both you and your co-founders to be able to commit to the programme.

You have to be working full-time on your startup/business (so it’s no longer a ‘side hustle’). However, the Accelerator programme is designed to be flexible around your timetable as we know you will be busy running your startup and doing day-to-day operations.

This is a sample of the schedule we worked with last year:

This schedule may change in 2023. We adapt our programmes to the needs of the cohort and may put on additional workshops or change our trips.

Accelerator session with Meri Williams (ex-CTO of Monzo)

4. What happened last year?

Check out the companies who were part of our Accelerator last year!

Last year, we had wonderful mentors who each had experience raising investment, speak to our teams on a weekly basis. We hosted a range of workshops covering topics such as how to send investor updates, the different types of investment, as well as how to derisk your startup and develop a stronger story.

We went to San Francisco where we learned about global attitudes toward investment and heard from CTOs, founders and investors on their advice to scaling and fundraising. We also allowed for time in the United States for teams to organise their own meetings, enabling them to develop global connections directly relevant to their specific customer base.

Visit to the Plug & Play Accelerator in Silicon Valley

Fun fact: We also did do some sight-seeing on day one and our trip coincided with Halloween, so the teams were invited to the Werqwise Halloween party!

Werqwise Halloween party

Finally, the Accelerator ended with a short trip in London for a SaaS pricing workshop as well as speed mentoring sessions — followed by a London Ignite alumni social.

Ignite alumni social in London

5. How do I apply? How does it work?

Applications close 24th July. We’ve made it super easy to apply. There’s a short form to fill in (please note Airtable does not save your answers so we recommend writing it up in a Word/text document before submitting your application).

We respond to all applicants, so you will hear back from us on whether your application was successful.

To apply: https://airtable.com/shrhzJuhGzA1frf3Z