Official List of London Business Accelerators and Incubators

Varun Bhanot
Varun Bhanot|Updated June 10th 2019

The definitive list of London’s business accelerators and incubators (including the ones you probably haven’t heard of!)

It is no secret that London has experienced a rapid rise in incubator and accelerator programmes in the past few years, much faster than any other European city. 

We have also seen an increasing trend for industry-specific accelerators – and it’s not all tech and digital! There are a growing number of targeted programmes ranging from property to drinks to music and more. Check out our comprehensive list of all the incubators and accelerators in London, easily broken down for you:

Pre-Seed Incubators

official list of london business accelerators and incubators

FFWD

Location: The Hangout at Unruly, Shoreditch
Duration: 6 weeks

Launched by Accelerator Academy and City University, FFWD is one of the only pre-seed accelerators in the UK. It is the incubator before the accelerator. Delivered in one-day sprints over a 6 week period, it has a specific focus on startups interested in tech, marketing and finance. “We get startups ready and in shape to get into some of the top accelerators with great initial funding.” – Katie Lewis.

Tech City Tub

Location: Bank and Bethnal Green
Duration: No duration

A vibrant incubation community where you can just pay for space and find yourself amongst some of London’s most dynamic communities. Desk space is heavily subsidised and includes a range of free professional services advice all as part of the community. You can even apply for a bursary for qualifying individuals.

Techstars

Location: Regional
Duration: Varying

Powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and launched by the organisation behind the world-famous Startup Weekend, Startup Next helps to get your pitch ready in five weeks. Their intensive approach is designed to give your team the tools, mentorship, and guidance to grab the investor’s attention. There were 40 programmes around the world, last year raising $20m.

IncuBus

Location: All over!
Duration: 12 weeks

Fancy building your startup on top of a double-decker London bus? Designed in collaboration with YC and Techstars alumni, the Incubus programme will help startups get into some of the world’s best accelerators, raise investment and get you on the straight and narrow – includes mentors, workshops and the desk space!

Activate Capital

Location: Ealing
Duration: 6 weeks

Selected applicants are invited to participate in its intensive six-week programme – worth more than £30k – which helps budding entrepreneurs ensure their idea is developed into an investor-ready proposition.

The Startup Lab programme includes a strong focus on business purpose and vision, value proposition design and exploring the fit between product and market as product development. Once the programmes have finished, successful applicants also have the opportunity to gain access to seed investment of £100K, used to optimise product development and secure future finance.

Hatch Enterprise

Location: South London
Duration: 6 weeks (Launchpad), 12 weeks (Incubator), 4 months (Accelerator)

Hatch supports entrepreneurs in South London at various stages of their development. The Launchpad Programme allows early-stage entrepreneurs to clarify their idea and define goals, while the 12 week intensive Incubator helps entrepreneurs grow their existing business. Hatch also offers an Accelerator designed specifically for female founders looking to scale their business.All programmes offer interactive workshops, expert speakers and invaluable mentoring placements, which often extend beyond the course. Candidates also benefit from joining a thriving Hatch community of entrepreneurs in South London, which provides support, skill swaps and monthly events.

StateZero Labs

LocationKing’s Cross, London
Duration: 3 Months

Bridging the gap between humanity and tech, StateZero Labs is the world’s first solution-led Blockchain Lab for startups. They are a community focused accelerator; a mindset, a space, a platform and an ecosystem that gives everybody a fair shot at their moonshot. Interested in only blockchain enterprise ideas, they’ve set out to find, fund and further the potential of outstanding founders. To encourage them to attack the world’s most challenging problems and exciting opportunities through advanced technology for practical use cases.

Each company receives up to £50,000 in the form of an equity-free grant, cost-free office space in King’s Cross, mentoring, one-to-one technical support and a tailored 3-month programme including workshops, yoga, nutrition and lunch & learns. The program is designed to arm entrepreneurs with the capital, tools and advice to build meaningful companies with global impact and has been created to offer founders the most powerful conditions to thrive.

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General Tech and Digital Accelerators (Seed and beyond)

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Seedcamp

Location: Google Campus, Shoreditch
Duration: No duration (lifetime programme)

Seedcamp is Europe’s leading Acceleration Fund which offers up to €75k pre-seed and €200k seed stage funding. Co-founded by Saul Klein, founder of Lovefilm and part of the original team behind Skype, Seedcamp has arranged an enviable A-list of mentors and advisors. Some of their successes include TransferWise, Crashpadder (acquired by Airbnb), eMoov and Property Partner. (Hubble is also part of the Seedcamp family!)

Entrepreneur First

Location: Workspace, London Bridge
Duration: 6 months

EF is a pre-team, pre-idea stage accelerator that invests exclusively in the best computer scientists and engineers. You can have an idea before applying, but they select purely on the basis of technical talent and help you to develop an idea and launch the startup on the programme. Previous successes include Kivo (accepted to Y-Combinator), Blaze and Adbrain. (It is also where Hubble was born).

Techstars

Location: White Bear Yard, Clerkenwell
Duration: 3 months

Arguably one of the world’s most famous accelerator programmes, Techstars was officially exported to London late 2013. Their roster of 128 mentors is perhaps one of the most notable in Europe featuring partners from almost every top VC to seasoned entrepreneurs from Paypal, Hailo and Shutl. 13% of Techstars companies have been acquired and the average amount of funding one of their startups receives is $2.7 million, so it’s no wonder eyeballs are always fixed on their pitch days.

Oxygen Accelerator

Location: Google Campus, Shoreditch
Duration: 3 months

If you are hungry and working hard on a game-changing idea, Oxygen is perfect for you. They give £21,000 for 8% equity – with 71% going on to receive investment after the programme. Great for consumer-facing, B2C startups.

Accelerator Academy

Location: Innovation Warehouse
Duration: 3 months (part-time)

Fantastic for first-time entrepreneurs! Accelerator Academy is a crash course in how to get up and running, especially focused on high growth businesses in tech, media and telecoms. It’s great for those who need part-time, evening help from mentors and advisors. They guarantee to smoothen your learning curve and get your startup onto a higher growth trajectory. The course is £600 per company but is refunded once the investment is secured via the Accelerator Investor Support deal.

Bethnal Green Ventures

Location: Makerversity, The Strand
Duration: 3 months

Specially designed for early-stage tech startups that are tackling social and environmental problems. If you have an idea that uses tech to do anything from fixing healthcare to reducing carbon emissions or beating crime, this could be the perfect place to get your startup journey on the road. BGV invests £15,000 in exchange for 6% equity. Ideal teams are between 2-4 people. Previous successes include Birdsong and Hospify.

Wayra

Location: Fitzrovia
Duration: 12 months

Launched by Telefónica, Wayra looks for amazing startups that have the power to improve education, employment, the environment, health and social innovation: anything that improves the lives of others. Based inside one of the coolest workspaces in London which have so far hosted over 250 events, knowledge and resources do not stop flying around the room.

Comfort Click

Location: East Croydon
Duration: No duration

A successful e-commerce retailer focusing on health, beauty, cosmetics and personal care. Based in East Croydon (20 minutes from Central London), they are a pan-European online retailer who is looking to invest in ideas and people.

With modern office facilities and a versatile yet proven management team, Comfort Click can help take your idea or existing business further by working with mentors with real pedigree.

CyLon

Location: London
Duration: 3 months

This accelerator programme offers some of Europe’s most promising entrepreneurs the training necessary to build and grow a successful cybersecurity company. Alongside an intensive professional curriculum, Cyber London’s participants also receive personal guidance and support from an accomplished network of mentors.
The programme culminates with a Demo Day, allowing participants to present their products, progress and potential to a range of partners and investors. The incubator space supports more advanced cybersecurity companies looking to take their businesses to the next level. For the duration of the programme, incubator teams access the benefits of Cyber London’s unique network and expertise whilst they focus on business and product development.

Founders Factory

Location: London
Duration: 6 months

A corporate-backed accelerator and incubator founded by serial entrepreneurs Brent Hoberman (Lastminute.com, MADE.COM) and Henry Lane Fox (Founders Forum Group). They operate across six sectors and have a corporate investor aligned to each sector: Guardian Media Group (media tech), L’Oreal  (beautytech), easyJet (travel), Holtzbrinck (Edtech), Aviva (fintech) and CSC Group as our AI backer (CSC is one of China’s biggest tech investors having invested $400m into Angellist last October).

They build two brand new tech businesses per sector per year within our incubator and accelerate five early-stage tech businesses per sector per year. With the accelerator, companies receive £30k and Founders Factory take around 7% equity.

They are amongst the highest capitalised startups accelerator in Europe too.

The Bakery

Location: Dalston
Duration: No duration

The Bakery helps startups secure large corporates as new clients. It starts with its corporate partners’ business challenges and then finds founders and early-stage companies that can build or offer solutions.

Its new Start Programme is a technology incubator programme in London aimed at entrepreneurs who are pre-idea but want to start a B2B company; it gives founders exposure to hidden but valuable industry challenges that need solving.

For founders with an idea, the Bakery runs its Accelerate Programme which is a corporate accelerator that helps early-stage teams (pre-seed) land commercial pilots with large corporates. Its Partner Programme helps later stage companies run trials with corporates with a view to securing a large B2B contract.

Since launching in 2013, The Bakery has run trials with startups and corporates in a range of sectors including Automotive, Finance, Food and Beverage, Healthcare, FMCG and Consultancy, with millions of pounds of investments from corporates turned into startup revenue. The Bakery network has over 5000 talented entrepreneurs from around the world. Clients are all household names from Unilever to BMW to Eurostar. By bringing them both together The Bakery makes innovation happen, fast.

Makers with a Mission

Location: Embankment
Duration: No duration

Makerversity‘s Makers with a Mission programme supports extraordinary ideas and new businesses. The programme looks for projects that challenge society’s ideas and behaviours through the things they make. These projects could be pushing a social or environmental agenda or using disruptive technologies and manufacturing processes to transform the way we make and consume.

Members include the likes of the Dyson award-winning Petit Pli and Chip[s] Board, who are developing materials made from potatoes.

InsurTech Gateway

Location: Westminster
Duration: No duration

InsurTech Gateway is the world’s first authorised InsurTech accelerator and is searching for businesses that can disrupt the insurance industry in different ways and complement their growing portfolio. InsurTech Gateway has centralised the key platforms required to get InsurTech startups to market and aligned this with the regulator’s approval process, meaning accepted companies can go to market in a few months compared to the insurance sector’s average of 18 months.

True.

Location: Victoria
Duration: 6 months

True. is aimed at investing in retail, consumer and fashion startups looking to turn those industry verticals on their head. True. invests between £25,000 – £50,000 in early-stage companies and £250k+ for later stage startups. They have over 50 senior retail and consumer mentors as well as premium retail space. This could be perfect for testing a pop-up space or rapid prototyping lab. Previous startups include City Pantry and Shuffle Hub.

Location: Royal Academy of Engineering at Prince Philip House, Central London.
Duration: No duration

The Royal Academy of Engineer’s Enterprise Hub provides up to £60,000 equity-free, grant funding, as well as a year-long programme of training and mentoring for researchers who are looking to spin-out a technology business and recent graduates who are looking to bring their innovation to market. As the name might suggest, the program support engineers to become entrepreneurs, but define ‘engineering’ in the broadest sense, from AI to construction.

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University-Affiliated

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Accelerator London

Location: Shoreditch/Hackney
Duration: No duration

Originally launched with London Metropolitan University, Accelerator is one of the oldest programmes in London. You can simply rent space in their Shoreditch building and immediately surround yourself with smart, determined advisors and fellow startups. Great if you want the benefits of an incubator but do not want to give away equity: you just pay for the space. They also offer ‘virtual incubation’ if you’re not quite ready to leave the kitchen table yet.

Imperial Innovations

Location: Imperial College, South Kensington
Duration: No duration

The Imperial Incubator is a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, providing office and laboratory space for early-stage companies. The two-storey 24,000-foot Incubator facility contains 12 laboratories, 22 offices, meeting rooms and break-out areas. This state of the art premises is conveniently located in South Kensington, Zone 1, making it an ideal location for commuters. Operates on a lease basis. You do not have to be a student at the university.

UCL Advances

Location: UCL Hatchery, Tottenham Court Road
Duration: No duration

“The UCL Advances hatchery is a fantastic environment for student startups, where advice and support are at hand whenever it might be required. This is critical in the early stages when companies are experiencing rapid changes and growth for the first time.” – Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Founder of Alive and Giving. Open to UCL students and those graduated in the last 12 months. Includes desk space, support from Advances business advisors and priority access to events.

Sussex Innovation

Location: East Croydon
Duration: No duration

Sussex Innovation is part of a network of incubation hubs across the South East, owned by the University of Sussex. The hub, located seconds from East Croydon station, provides start-up office space and hotdesking for ambitious technology and knowledge-based businesses. While members aren’t required to be affiliated with the University, they can gain real value from its involvement – with strategic advice provided by in-house mentors and a network of subject matter experts, and practical hands-on support from a flexible team of graduates and work placement students.

FinTech

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Barclays Accelerator by Techstars

Location: Central Working, Whitechapel
Duration: 3 months

One of the first dedicated accelerators for FinTech startups in the UK, Barclays Accelerator lets companies use exclusive Barclays data and technology. A smart programme that gets you the best of both: the banking industry and the Techstars network. They even promise up to 150 meetings with mentors, CEOs and key influencers over the course of the programme.

Startup Bootcamp Fintech

Location: Rainmaking Loft, Tower Hill
Duration: 4 months

Startup Bootcamp have partnered with giants such as Mastercard and Lloyds Bank to provide exposure, APIs and a network of professionals for early stage FinTech startups. All teams receive £15,000 in cash per team as well as 4 months of free office space at the brilliant Rainmaking Loft.

LEVEL39

Location: Canary Wharf
Duration: No duration

Europe’s largest technology accelerator space in the iconic Level 39 of Canary Wharf. This accelerator is perfect for startups involved in finance, cyber-securities, retail and future cities. With an enviable list of mentors including Level39 founder Eric van der Kleij who spearheaded the launch of Tech City by appointment of the Prime Minister. You can work here on a desk rental basis.

In-Residence by JP Morgan

Location: London
Duration: 6 months

In-Residence is a six-month structured program that aims to solve critical wholesale banking challenges through an open, transparent, and highly collaborative approach. As part of the program, entrepreneurs and startups are connected with J.P. Morgan’s knowledge, data and resources. This means In-Residence provides access to the heart of J.P. Morgan’s internal business units, its technology ecosystem and to its global network of business contacts. Through a collaborative process, In-Residence gives companies the best chance to create usable and transferable solutions that have value to not just J.P. Morgan, but the financial industry as a whole.

Property (real estate)

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PiLabs

Location: Second Home, Spitalfields
Duration: 3-4 months

PiLabs is the first ‘PropTech’ accelerator of its kind. It is exclusively aimed at shaking up the old-fashioned property industry. They take a broad view of property, encompassing architecture & design to hospitality and leisure startups. Startups get £20,000 for 7% equity. Companies applying can have a fully functional product all the way down to founders who have a new idea that just needs to get off the paper. Previous successes include Airsorted and LandInsight.

Fashion & Retail

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Centre for Fashion Enterprise

Location: CFE HQ
Duration: 3 months

Launched by the Centre for Fashion Enterprise, FrontRow ‘Fash-tech’ bridges the gap between fashion, technology and the digital industries. Startups receive deep industry expertise and network from the CFE. The programme is fully subsidised with no equity taken. You must be pre or early revenue and have the potential to disrupt the industry. Previous startups include Kovert Designs and Alive Shoes.

JLAB by John Lewis

Location: London
Duration: 3 months

The famous John Lewis opens its doors to new and disruptive startups with access to their proprietary technology, data and customers. They are looking for startups that offer disruptive retail solutions and also offer to become your first ‘big-ticket’ customer at the end of the programme. They have a particular interest in meshing the physical and digital, effortless payments, smart partners and the connected home. The best startup at the end has a chance to secure £100,000. All companies receive a £20,000 initial investment.

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Food and Drink

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The Grocery

Location: Bathtub2Boardroom, Bank
Duration: 6 months

Exclusively aimed at food and drink startups, The Grocery has assembled a dream team of advisors and mentors from the top supermarket chains and partnerships with well-established food brands. They have a particular focus on differentiated, innovative packaged food and drinks brands that can achieve significant scale. There must be some market validation, and the expectation is that all joining startups will give up 12.5% equity in exchange for £50,000 initial cash injection.

Distill Ventures by Diageo

Location: Marylebone, London
Duration: TBC

A unique programme launched by beverages behemoth Diageo to help boost seed and growth level spirits startups (the alcoholic, rather than paranormal, kind). They’ll help you build your network, work out pricing and margins, and bring the brand to life. £175k is handed to all startups on the programme (excluding a course fee of £45k). You will be introduced to Diageo’s finest including liquids experts, brand specialists and wholesalers.

Cinnamon Bridge

Location: Stamford Works, London
Duration: No duration

Cinnamon Bridge is open to food and drink startups that are in their early stages of development or have been trading for less than 18 months. They serve as active stakeholders (6-10%) focusing on taking an idea to a stage where it is a successful and sustainable enterprise. They are particularly keen on market, brand, advertising or product innovators. Industry experts and PR/Marketing professionals all come ready to help your business.

Media

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BBC Worldwide Labs

Location: BBC Media Center
Duration: TBC

BBC Labs are particularly keen on game-changing media products that are ready to go to market, passionate teams with a global vision, and synergy with the BBC Worldwide brands. Inside the BBC ecosystem, startups have prime space at BBC HQ and access to internal industry experts. You will be working with teams that own the rights to shows such as Doctor Who and Top Gear and return the largest amount of revenue for the BBC.

Collider

Location: WeWork, Southbank
Duration: 4 months

Dedicated to advertising and marketing startups, helping brands better engage with their customers. The programme works to connect startups with potential corporate customers and investors. £50k for 11%, with the possibility of that rising to £175k at the end.

Social Enterprise

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EcoMachines

Location: St Katherines Dock, Tower Hill
Duration: 3-9 months

EcoMachines is perfect for hardware startups working on problems in power generation, energy efficiency, water, waste, transport, smart cities, material and industry high-tech. They will take your startup from proof-of-concept to a high-growth investable company. EcoMachines seem pretty determined to drive change by handing up to £100,000 initial seed equity to each team with the possibility for £500,000 follow on support. Previous startups include Q-Bot and Nanotech Industrial Solutions.

The Accelerator from The Young Foundation

Location: London
Duration: 4 months

The Ventures Network is aimed at rapidly scaling startups in social entrepreneurship, social innovation, partnership working, education, housing and social finance. It connects leading thinkers and doers who are determined to make social change happen. The Young Foundation has an innovative choice in investment structures to help boost you on the programme. They have built up partnerships with the likes of Ashoka, and JP Morgan.

Impact Hubs

Location: Westminster, Islington & King’s Cross
Duration: No duration

Impact Hub is for individuals who want to build a better world; part incubator, part innovation lab. A bright and inspiring space to work and meet. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to facilitate a workshop, launch a new venture, hold a brainstorm or host a networking event, they can accommodate your needs in a beautiful, unconventional environment. There are over 11,000 members in 5 continents to collaborate and advise you on your business.

MeWeHub

Location: MeWe, 13 Soho Square
Duration: No Duration

MeWe360 combines a not-for-profit development house, MeWe Foundation, with a commercial investment arm, MeWe Trading CIC. We are able to offer the creative entrepreneur all the support they need in one place. MeWe Foundation, the charity, provides business support and training as well as networks and space to meet and work; whilst MeWe Trading CIC, our investment arm, gives creative entrepreneurs access to funding.

Allia Serious Impact

Location: Hackney
Duration: 3 months (accelerator), 9 months (incubator)

Allia is a not-for-profit organisation who have been supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses since 1999. Allia’s Serious Impact initiative includes accelerator and incubator programmes, both of which are free.

Their 3-month accelerator programme helps East London-based entrepreneurs get more customers and grow their business in a variety of ways. Along with other local businesses, participants will have mentors guiding them through various workshops and classes. These mentors are also at their disposal for private 1:1 advice & follow-on sessions.

The incubator programme runs for 9 months, working with participants in key startup areas to develop and grow your business. This programme is for startups and provides free coworking access, workshops, 1:1 mentoring and a network of professionals.

Resurgo Ventures

Location: Liverpool Street, London
Duration: 3 months programme, 6-months free co-working

Resurgo Ventures are focused on early-stage businesses that combine purpose and profit. TThey cover the following content: social impact measurement, strategy, financial modelling, leadership, design thinking, coaching, branding, pitching, legal concepts, culture development and more.  

Education

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Emerge

Location: Hoxton
Duration: 3 months

Specifically aimed at startups that are looking to improve educational outcomes worldwide. They have a partnership with TSL Education, the world’s largest online teaching network who will give honest beta testing feedback, as well as B2B partners involved in schools, further education and corporate. Entrepreneurs are given a £15k living stipend. Former EdTech startups on Emerge include Pi-Top and DrumRoll.

Edspace

Location: Hoxton
Duration: No duration

Edspace is about one thing: fostering innovation in education. They are a coworking and event space provider for teachers, charities, businesses, social enterprises, investors and accelerators – who wants to transform education. You must have a belief that radical innovation, backed up by robust evaluation of what works, can improve the life chances of millions. Operates on a simple desk rental basis.

Music

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Abbey Road Red

Location: Abbey Road Studios
Duration: No duration

Building on a legacy of more than 80 years of groundbreaking technological advances at the Abbey Road Studios, Abbey Road Red is an open innovation department designed to support the endeavours of the brightest music tech entrepreneurs, researchers and developers. They run a music tech start-up incubation program to support the most promising music tech start-ups, as well as collaborating with the brightest minds in academic research.

Logistics

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Mobility

InMotion Accelerator

Location: London
Duration: 6 months

InMotion Ventures – powered by Jaguar Land Rover – invests in the future of mobility and smart transportation. The programme accepts up to 15 startups per year across two cohorts. This new accelerator is focused exclusively on early-stage businesses in the mobility and transportation space: startups with the potential to make a significant impact on the way people and goods move from A to B.

That means those developing mobility products and services, such as ride-sharing and navigation; and also those developing the technologies and supply chain elements that power mobility products and services, such as fintech offerings or AI applications.

All businesses joining the InMotion Accelerator receive investment in exchange for equity. As part of the programme, startups also get support with anything they need to grow their business.

That includes:

  • Dedicated London workspace designed with entrepreneurs in mind
  • Mentoring from successful startup founders
  • Help from InMotion Ventures’ in-house finance, operations, marketing, design and development teams
  • Masterclasses, workshops and talks from experts in investment, tech and transport
  • Assistance in securing further funding

Fitness

ActiveLab

Location: London
Duration: 3 months

ActiveLab accelerates cutting-edge innovation in physical activity from the UK and across the globe. This 12-week accelerator, delivered by ukactive, provides access to tailored education, promotion, networking and resources.

ActiveLab has been created for physical activity businesses focusing on growth and scale, where the product or service has been validated. The programme is open to teams who’ve raised capital, are in the process of doing so, or are bootstrapped. They must be able to demonstrate a high level of month-on-month growth through key business metrics.

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