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Accelerator for 5G and IoT startups launches in Sunderland

Sunderland 5G accelerator

A partnership between industry and local government is launching a 5G and internet of things (IoT) accelerator programme in Sunderland.

Startups are being invited to apply for the six-week programme, which is being run by Sunderland City Council, communications infrastructure provider BAI Communications, and Sunderland Software City.

The 10 successful applicants will take part in workshops and mentoring sessions that will develop skills from pitching to networking.

It will also provide the cohort with introductions to industry stakeholders and an equity-free grant of up to £10,000.

The Sunderland-based 5G accelerator programme is looking for startups using IoT for manufacturing, smart homes, and for skills and education.

“We are seeking truly innovative startups to get involved in this unique opportunity,” said Dr David Dunn, CEO, Sunderland Software City. “The accelerator is at no cost to the teams, and unlike many accelerators, no equity will be taken in return for participation, whilst the IP remains in full control of the teams involved.”

Applications for the accelerator open on 4 July, but startups are able to express their interest now.

Billy D’Arcy, CEO of BAI UK, said: “It will provide startups with a significant opportunity to participate and contribute to the scaling of the advanced smart city programme, helping Sunderland to remain at the forefront of innovation and achieve global competitiveness.”

The city of Sunderland has strong manufacturing roots and is home to the Nissan car manufacturing plant. This has made it a natural place for developing and testing industry 4.0 technologies, including 5G-powered smart factories.

Industry players have launched a range of projects and initiatives aimed at improving connectivity and demonstrating the benefits of 5G in the city, including the testing of 5G-connected autonomous trucks.

Liz St Louis, assistant director smart cities at Sunderland City Council, said: “The [5G accelerator] programme underlines Sunderland’s commitment to being a forward-thinking and smart city.”

In April, FoundersBoost UK launched an accelerator programme in Sunderland to help early-stage tech startups. Last year, Just Eat Takeaway created 1,500 new jobs at its Sunderland site.