Startup Weekly: Welsh tech accelerator calls for applications, Virgin StartUp partners with WeWork and more

Here’s your weekly roundup of news about startup competitions, awards, accelerators, and any other exciting developments in the UK tech sector.

Welsh accelerator calls for applications

The Digital Dozen Accelerator has announced its launch and is seeking to take tech startups and scaleups in Wales to the next level.

Powered by Innovation Point, the initiative will seek to take businesses on an intensive, bespoke six month journey in an attempt to help them secure investment.

The program will culminate with two pitching days, one in September and the other at an event held at the London Stock Exchange in November.

David Warrender, CEO of Innovation Point, said: “This year, building on the successful 2016 Digital Dozen campaign, we are seeking a cohort of dragons that we can turn into unicorns.  We’re offering a new, bigger and better package of support for start-ups and scale-ups looking for their next investment round (or perhaps a Stock Exchange listing) and whose ambitions match ours.

“Wales has the raw talent and ambition to become the leading force in the UK digital economy outside the capital.  This package of support will enhance our reputation as the UK destination of choice for capable tech businesses.  This programme will offer bespoke training, an unrivalled mentoring programme and links to only the smartest of investors.  This package is designed to stack the odds of successful, rapid growth firmly in favour of those ambitious businesses who participate.

“We are seeking Wales based tech disruptors who are ready to accept the challenge and work with us to turn their dragon into a unicorn.”

Applications close on 28th June.  

WeWork and Virgin StartUp partnership

A new events concept has been launched in London to drive forward innovation within the startup scene.

The new space is the result of a partnership between startup support provider Virgin StartUp and WeWork.

According to a statement, the initiative will focus on events geared towards startup education and entrepreneurial innovation.

Mei Shui, managing director at Virgin StartUp, explained: “Virgin StartUp has supported thousands of entrepreneurs with loans and business advice over the last four years. We’ve been at the forefront of innovation in the sector so it’s fantastic to be partnering with WeWork, a company who has entrepreneurial spirit at its core. London Fields is a vibrant and innovative part of London; it feels like the perfect place to kick off a forward thinking partnership such as this one”

Joe Gaunt, UK managing director at WeWork, said entrepreneurs and startups were a vital part of WeWork’s community. “We’ve championed them ever since we first launched,” he added.

“We’re really excited to announce WeWork Labs which will further support London’s flourishing community of entrepreneurs.”

WeWork to open first UK location outside London

In other news, coworking space provider WeWork is expanding to Manchester.

The move, the company says, is the 20th WeWork location to be announced in the UK.

Before the opening, the city’s entrepreneurs will be able to take part in WeWork’s Creator Awards programme, which offers awards totalling over $20m globally to empower individuals and organisations.

WeWork’s Joe Gaunt commented: “Manchester is an obvious choice for our second city. It couples a vibrant cultural heritage with an established desirable business location. The city has excellent infrastructure and a growing tech and start-up sector and is showing itself to be an increasingly appealing destination providing a fantastic work life balance.

“We are proud to have secured premises in the latest addition to the Manchester skyline and believe this best in class building will provide the perfect hub for entrepreneurs, start-ups, freelancers and established companies alike to create their life’s work,” he concluded.

Moore Stephens launches Hatched, calls for entries  

Moore Stephens is looking for applicants for its new ‘Hatched’ programme, which provides tech startups with full service business support and expertise for a fixed fee of £295 per month (excluding VAT) to move to their next stage of growth.

The accountancy firm says the two year programme will be open to 35 early-stage tech companies and will seek to offer a combination of accountancy and tax services, combined with a structured programme of business support.

Mark Ayres, partner and head of technology at Moore Stephens, said: “The demise of Government-backed initiatives such as GrowthAccelerator and the Business Growth Service meant that tech start-ups have been left short of affordable advice and expertise – that’s where Hatched comes in.

“We’ve had an increase in demand from clients looking for an integrated accounting, tax and business support service that provides a solution for their scale-up needs – and ‘Hatched’ has been designed to provide this.

“Hatched will give early stage tech businesses the tools they need to attract and retain customers, secure investment and take care of the compliance and legal issues that might be holding them back from spending time on what they do best – growing their business.

“Whilst accelerators and incubators play a vital role within the tech ecosystem, Hatched aims to provide further support – enabling early stage companies to continue to access vital financial and strategic support, establish key connections to customers and build the foundations required to ensure growth for many years to come,” he concluded.

Applications close on 1 September 2017.

NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards

And finally, applications are now open for this year’s NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Now in their fifth year, the Awards celebrate the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs, not simply their financial success.

There are 11 categories to enter in each host city – Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and London.

To apply, please visit:

The deadline for entries is 18th August 2017.

That’s all for today. See you next Friday!