Start Tank is supporting start-ups with a start-up attitude

Start Tank's second cycle of start-ups showcased their progress at the company's demo day in London, with the accelerator also calling for entrepreneurs to apply for the next six-month period.

The start-ups are given no-cost access to a central London co-working space for the six-month membership period, bespoke support from experienced mentors and figures in their field from PayPal and Braintree, and free transaction volume with Startup Blueprint of up to $1.5 million (just under 1 million) with PayPal and $100,000 (651,000) with Braintree.

"We have been thrilled to host and help these six resident start-ups over the past six months," said Corrado Tomassoni, global director of start-ups, accelerators and VCs at PayPal and Braintree. "Braintree and PayPal began as start-ups so we understand what's important.

"We believe that for start-ups to succeed, they need a community in which to thrive and we also know how every penny counts in the first years. We believe that our Start Tank programme provides [the] support and environment for these two major priorities for start-ups."

This cycle's start-ups include MiHaibao, a portal to Western luxury products for Chinese consumers; Henchman, a mobile app that allows users to request delivery of anything and everything in London in under 60 minutes, and ZipCube, a booking website for work and event spaces.

Companies can apply twice for the programme, and Start Tank takes no ownership of intellectual property. Many start-ups also come from overseas, seeking opportunity and the chance to break into the UK market.

The most striking thing about the demo night was the increased confidence of the companies, particularly those such as MiHaibao and Henchman who are completing their second cycle with Start Tank.

Jacqueline J Lam, CEO and founder of MiHaibao, said: "We've really enjoyed our time at Start Tank. The great thing about the programme is the freedom and flexibility that PayPal and Braintree offer throughout. As a start-up you are in control and can drive the agenda, ask for the help you want as well as get the advice you need. It's a great balance. We're really grateful to our mentors from PayPal and Braintree for all their support."

London's tech start-ups have been attracting a record amount of VC investment, accounting for the bulk of 960 million raised in the UK during the first half of 2015. This is up from 625 million raised during the same period of 2014. All in, start-ups based in the city are attracting more than 80 per cent of funding from VCs.

Tomassoni continued: "We look forward to seeing how these companies continue to grow and flourish in the years to come and we are excited about what Start Tank cycle three might bring in 2016."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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