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Virgin Media and Techstars launch London accelerator

Virgin Media Business has teamed up with Techstars to launch a London-based acccelerator programme, joining hosts of others, and says it is on the hunt for “the most innovative and disruptive startups from around the world”.

Virgin will offer 10 startups an initial $20,000 for 6% of their company on entry to the programme.

This will be followed by 13 weeks of mentorship, offer of a workspace in London, addditional support facilities, which include executive assistants, personal trainers and nutritionists, as well as a luxury holiday in the US once the bootcamp comes to an end.

Each company will have the option to take an additional $100,000 convertible loan note backed by the VC arm of Virgin Media’s parent company, Liberty Global, and Techstars.

This will be given in exchange for a further stake in the startup, up to an additional 4%.

The programme will culminate with a demo day in front of “some of the world’s leading investors for the chance to raise capital and secure investment in their businesses”.

Virgin Media says that it will also offer an ‘Equity Back Guarantee’ if startups are not completely satisfied with the value of the programme.

Having finished its Pitch to Rich statup competition in June, and launching a report last month outlining the UK’s huge digital opportunity, it’s clear Virgin Media Business is committed to capitalising on this startup fever.

Techstars is also clearly on a mission of its own, announcing a new programme just last month based in Los Angeles in association with nonprofit academic medical centre Cedars-Sinai, which is the first accelerator backed by the global startup training brand to focus exclusively on healthtech.

Virgin will be going head-to-head with Telefónica’s Wayra accelerator, which launched its first programme in London in 2012.

Applicants can apply online now until 9 January 2016.