Virgin Media launches innovative startup search


Virgin Media and Techstars have launched a search for the ten most innovative start-ups in tech to take part in a three-month mentorship programme.

The initiative called, Virgin Media Accelerator, will involve connecting the successful applicants with the investment, skills and expertise they need to become a leader in their space.

Virgin Media and Techstars are inviting companies with 'everyday simple ideas' related to connectivity and networks that will make everyday life better for the masses. There will be a focus on those organisations with the potential to take on Google, iPhone, Facebook or Uber, Virgin Media explained.

"Innovation and the infinite possibilities offered by a connected world lie at the very heart of our business, which is why we're proud to partner with Techstars to launch the first ever Virgin Media Accelerator programme," Bruce Dines, vice president, Liberty Global Ventures, the parent company of said. "There are endless possibilities for the kind of companies who should apply to this programme we are interested in driving innovation, convenience and social well-being across our consumer- and business-connected world.

Applications for the Virgin Media Accelerator Programme opened today and companies will have until January 9th 2016.

Following the 13-week mentoring programme, the ten start-ups will be invited to pitch to investors in the hope of raising capital to continue supporting the ventures.

Successful companies will receive up to $120,000 (approximately 78,000) of funding, an office space in London, support from executive assistants, personal trainers and nutritionists, plus flights to the US and a hotel stay.

Additionally, start-ups will have the offer of an Equity Back Guarantee, meaning if they are unhappy with the value of the programme, they will get back part or all of the six per cent equity they initially exchanged to enter the programme.

"With the support of our parent company, Liberty Global, and our new partner, Techstars, we're delighted to support this exciting programme in the UK," Peter Kelly, managing director, Virgin Media Business said. "Supporting businesses of all sizes is at the heart of Virgin Media's purpose. Virgin Media Accelerator will give the most exciting digital start-ups a phenomenal opportunity to learn, develop and grow."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.