Comparing London's Startup Accelerators

With TechStars starting their first London class in July, Wayra UK just starting their second and Seedcamp going on six years; startup founders in London have more choice than ever before when it comes to accelerator programmes.

Seed accelerators typically provide their companies (over a period of three to six months) with a combination of funding, office space, access to their network of companies, mentorship from the team and mentor network and various other perks such as reduced price services and investor Demo Days.

Which accelerator (if any) is right for a particular company is a difficult choice but the programmes can be compared by looking at what they offer, speaking with alumni and judging the success of their accelerated companies (on the basis of valuations, follow-on funding raised, job creation etc.).

Since most of the accelerators have not been around in London for long, it is too early to fairly compare their success (but check out Seed-DB for interesting data on Seedcamp’s and TechStars London’s (formerly Springboard) companies so far). However, the tangible benefits they offer their companies can be compared side-by-side which is what I have tried to do here.

All information is taken directly from the programmes' websites (with links provided), if you spot any errors or omissions, please let me know.

There are accelerator programmes in London focussed on a particular market or entrepreneur, and more keep popping up, such as:

But, the three generalist accelerators that many founders will be considering are Seedcamp, TechStars London and Wayra UK:

Founded 2007 TechStars: 2006
Springboard: 2009
TechStars London: 2013
Wayra: 2011
Wayra UK: 2012
Locations London (with events around Europe) London + 6 more in US London + 12 more Academies globally
Team Reshma Sohoni, Carlos Eduardo Espinal, Philipp Moehring, Kirsten Campbell Jon Bradford, David Cohen, Jess Williamson Ashley Stockwell, Alex Hawkes
Alumni 92 companies London: first class starting in July
Globally: 199 companies
Wayra UK: 35 companies
Globally: 245 companies
Class size in London ≈20 startups per year
(5 new, every 3 months)
≈20 startups per year
(10 new, every 6 months)
≈30 startups per year
(15 new, every 6 months)
Funding €50,000 for 8-10%;
€25,000 for 5%;
or no funding for 3%.
€15,000 for ≈6% and an optional €70,000 convertible note €20,000-€50,000 for 5-10%
Terms Equity investment for ordinary shares [actual term sheet] Equity investment for ordinary shares + optional convertible note (20% discount) [template docs] Convertible note, paid in tranches (20% discount)
Office Space 3 months free at Campus London 6 months free at Warner Yard 6 months free at Wayra Academy
Mentors Link to website Link to website Link to website
Other Perks Founders’ Pack, 4-Week US roadshow, Monthly Learning Days TechStars Perks, Demo Day at end of programme Access to Telefónica and Telefónica I+D's know-how and resources.
Application Process Apply directly to Seedcamp Week (4 per year) or Mini Seedcamp (20 per year).

≈20 teams from direct applicants and Mini Seedcamp participants selected to attend Seedcamp Week.

≈5 selected to join the accelerator by Seedcamp's investors.
Apply on website or f6s, there is an early and final deadline. (2 per year).

≈10 selected to join the accelerator by the TechStars team.
Register project for a Call (2 per year).

≈30 selected to attend Wayra Week.

≈15 selected to join accelerator by a jury of experts.

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