Start-up accelerator TechStars sets up shop in UK

Summary:US start-up accelerator TechStars is opening a London office with a view to backing UK entrepreneurs.

Start-up accelerator TechStars is looking to fund and mentor UK entrepreneurs in its first step outside of the US.

TechStars said it is expanding its network outside of the US by merging with UK accelerator Springboard.

Launching next month, TechStars London said it will support up to 20 start-ups each year across the UK and Europe through an investment of €85,000, made up of €15,000 in seed funding and an optional €70,000 convertible debt note for each company.

The company said its European track record includes Memrise in the UK, GrabCAD in Estonia and docTrackr in France, which between them have raised €16m in investment funds.

TechStars CEO David Cohen said the US doesn't have a monopoly on either tech skills or entrepreneurship. "The current business climate here means we can work with an incredibly broad spectrum of British and international teams and top talent," he said in a statement.

The news — announced on Wednesday at 10 Downing Street — comes two years after the  Tech City Investment Organisation was set up by the government with the aim of attracting inward tech investment.

Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City Investment Organisation said: "With such an ambitious package of policies, incentives and visa support, the UK is amongst the best places in the world to start and grow a business."

Applications for TechStars London open on 16 March 2013, with 10 places on the first programme.

Topics: Start-Ups, Emerging Tech, United Kingdom

About

Steve Ranger is the UK editor-in-chief of ZDNet and TechRepublic, and has been writing about technology, business and culture for more than a decade. Previously he was the editor of silicon.com.

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