Facebook has announced the third edition of its successful London accelerator program and is opening it up to startups across Europe, Middle East and Africa for the very first time.

Facebook Accelerator London will be open to high-growth startups who are creating impact at scale using artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality (AR/VR), blockchain or other Facebook products and technologies.

The programme is open to startups that are harnessing the power of technology to have a positive impact on the world, including companies who are improving digital connectivity around the globe.

Vicky-Marie Gibbons, Platform Partnerships at Facebook said exclusively to UKTN: “London is a hub of tech engineering and innovation. It has played a central role in our innovation story and is home to our biggest engineering hub outside the US. We are committed to supporting this thriving start-up ecosystem and our ambition with the London Accelerator is to help a new generation of entrepreneurs from across EMEA start and scale their businesses.

The successful start-ups will enter a 12-week programme where Facebook product leads, among others, will provide mentorship, training, and workshops. Using the latest in technologies such as AI, VR, AR, blockchain, and messaging services, we want to help startups with their ambitions such as scaling across borders.”

Research from Facebook shows that more than 375 million people from around the world are connected to a small-to-medium business from the UK, with many of these companies excelling at technology. When looking at the top ten fastest growing British tech startups, over half a million people are connected to them on Facebook, representing the important role Facebook plays for startups across in the UK, Europe, and beyond.

Nicola Mendelsohn, VP of EMEA at Facebook, added: “Innovation is at the heart of Facebook and today we are opening up our London accelerator programme to applications from start-ups across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The selected start-ups will gain access to experts from across Facebook including those working in Augmented Reality, Blockchain and AI. We hope that through this programme we can help nurture a new cohort of businesses towards making a positive impact on the world.”

Matt Warman, Minister for Digital, commented: “London is one of the world’s great tech hubs. It attracts record levels of investment, boasts a business-friendly environment and has a long-standing reputation for innovation. I am delighted that Facebook Accelerator London will bring startups from around the world to the capital to learn from leaders in our hugely successful tech community.

“This programme will help these startups have a positive impact in communities across the world and I encourage all interested to apply.”