Springboard: Apply by January 29 to Accelerate in London

January 27, 2012

9:30 am

As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, the number of accelerators and incubators is rapidly growing all around the globe.  TechStars not only runs amazing programs themselves, but they also have a network of other independent accelerators in the US and abroad to whom they provide consulting and ongoing assistance.

Springboard, which is a TechStars Network member, is helping to accelerate about 10 companies in London this spring.  The deadline to apply is January 29th and grab a chance to cross the Atlantic for an opportunity of a lifetime.  The best part is that Springboard provides assistance with visas for foreigners.

I had the opportunity to do an email interview with Josephine Goube, who is running the London program this spring.  She provided some great insights into the program, and her enthusiasm about the program crossed the Atlantic and could be felt even through email.

Tech Cocktail: What does it mean to be a TechStars network partner?  How do you work with TechStars?

Josephine Goube: We are part of the TechStars Network – which is the largest open and collaborative network of accelerators. This gives Springboard the power to help companies cross the bridge into international markets and makes Springboard a truly international program – it has mentors located in many countries, which is not always the case with accelerator programs, and keep it at the edge both in terms of knowledge and connections!

Tech Cocktail: Since 2009, how many companies have been accepted into the program?

Goube: With Springboard we’ve had 10 teams which took part in Springboard Cambridge 2011. There were also 20 companies accelerated by the Difference Engine, an accelerator Jon [Jon Bradford is the MD of Springboard and oversees the Cambridge program] set up in the North East of England in 2009, and 10 startups that recently completed Ignite100, another accelerator programme Jon founded last year. It’s been busy!

Tech Cocktail: Can you give us an update on the alumni companies?

Goube: Apiary closed an angel investment in December and is currently rolling out their API documentation and testing tools to excited users.  More news to follow very soon.

Arachnys completed an angel round in December and have moved from Cambridge to London with plans to grow their team aggressively, including high quality devs interested in big data, and multilingual NLP.

Hubflow has had a funding offer on the table since October; however they have decided to concentrate on fulfilling their existing customer requirements and completing the sales cycle on three new prospects before they accept funding and expand their team.

Mayday is opening the product, which is now an extension of Google Analytics, to a larger audience of beta users. Existing users of Google Analytics can sign up on the website and instantly have access to meaningful and actionable insights on users behaviour.

Since the end of Springboard, MiniMonos has gone from 300,000 registered members to more than 650,000 registered members. The kids’ virtual world also launched branded prepaid cards in Sainsbury stores across the UK and quadrupled its monthly revenue.

PlayMob is hosting their first event on 30 January with guest speakers Steve Moore (Big Society), Mick Donegal (Special Effect), Ian Livingstone (Eidos), Andy Payne (UKIE/Mastertronic) and Michael Green (Author of Philanthrocapitalism). PlayMob have also raised a further $3000 for Help USA via Parallel Kingdom and currently have 2 campaigns running in games Drop Catcher (iOS) and Magicats (Facebook). Many more campaigns lined up for Q1 2012 and watch our site for new announcements!

Publification has raised funding from Northstar Ventures, and their first Publification eBook will be published later this month.  They are now recruiting A-list authors that want to self-publish and use social discovery and interaction tools to promote their work. Sign up for limited number of beta invites at www.publification.com.

Spontly completed a funding round and will be announcing other news in the coming days.

Tastebuds is now at over 35,000 users, with an exciting app launching shortly . Plus they recently heard of the first marriage through Tastebuds!

Tech Cocktail: What are the most interesting industries to you? Consumer, B2B, etc?

Goube: We cover off a lot of different industries, including B2C, B2B and developer tools. We are not interested by one in particular but mostly interested by the team behind. The product might be exciting, but the team is likely to be even more 🙂

Tech Cocktail: What is the breakdown of UK companies vs. others that have been historically accepted into the program?

Goube: Half/half. Foreign teams came from Estonia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, and New Zealand.

Tech Cocktail: Do you provide assistance for foreigners in obtaining work visas for the 3 month stay?

Yes! The Government makes provisions for entrepreneurs with high growth potential businesses to apply to come to the UK through Springboard. In other words, Springboard has been endorsed by UKTI (UK trade and Investment Department) to provide its graduates with provisions to get entrepreneurs visas.

Tech Cocktail: How many applications do you foresee receiving this year? How many companies will be accepted into the program?

Goube: Around 300 applications, but only 10 will be accepted.

Tech Cocktail: Besides the funding, office space, and mentorship what are other things that Springboard can help companies do?  Hire, PR, etc?

Goube: We have a wide number of partners including sales support, PR & Marketing etc – all of which the teams can use to accelerate their businesses. In short we offer what money can’t buy: The smart community that supports your business when in the program; and out!

Tech Cocktail: Do alumni companies tend to stay in London after the program?

It depends. What happened in Cambridge is that some stayed or made a move to London and some returned to their original country as their team is there. Still, they keep in touch constantly via our online groups and often come to London. Let’s see what London graduates have to say about this in a few months!

***

Remember it’s not too late to apply, no US companies have been part of the program yet, but you could be the first.  If you do decide to apply, let us know!

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Julissa is a technology entrepreneur and writer on innovation and start-ups. She is co-founder of Common Equity, and leads the SocStock product team. She is passionate about innovation, travel and college football. You can follow her on twitter @julissaarce.

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