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Microsoft launches accelerator in Tech City for UK start-ups

The accelerator will target tech and gaming businesses

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Microsoft has opened a new accelerator in the heart of Tech City to identify some of London’s most promising early stage technology companies.

The Microsoft Ventures Accelerator will run from Central Working in Shoreditch and is open to applications from today. The co-working space near "Silicon Roundabout" and next door to Google Campus was recently reviewed by Techworld as part of the Tech City Spaces series.

The 12-week accelerator programme includes a combination of 1:1 mentoring, technical assistance and access to resources designed for start-ups developing technologies around cloud, internet, mobile or gaming.Applicants will also be given a membership to Microsoft’s BizSpark, giving them access to three years of free software, support and visibility.

Selected start-ups will be given the opportunity to work with the likes of London Business School, KPMG, Ventures in Motion and Train2Game, among others.

At the end of the programme they will pitch their ideas to a panel of venture capitalists, mentors and investors within the technology community. They stand to win funding, a licensing deal or the option to join another accelerator, incubator or one of its own gaming studios.

Microsoft announced the accelerator programme in June 2013 and several of the 10 proposed accelerators are already up and running, including Bangalore, Beijing, Paris, Seattle and Tel-Aviv. 

Some 119 companies – including Israel’s recipe collecting platform “Kitchenbug” and America’s marketing analytics platform “Buddy” – have already enrolled on the accelerator programme and Microsoft claims that 85 percent of them went on to secure funding on the demo day or within six months.

Microsoft’s accelerator will compete with a number of existing London-based bootcamps, such as Techstars, Seedcamp, Level 39 and Oxygen, which recently relocated from Birmingham to London



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