Virgin Media & Techstars reveal 10 startups to join new London-based accelerator

10th March 2016

  • 10 innovative startups from around the globe chosen to join new mentor-driven accelerator
  • Accelerator is backed by Virgin Media, Liberty Global and Techstars and will be housed in a newly refurbished space in London
  • Startups will visit Silicon Valley next week to meet with tech giants and Sir Richard Branson

Virgin Media and Techstars today reveal the ten digital startups chosen to be part of a new mentor-driven accelerator based in London. This follows a competitive application process which opened in November 2015 and received submissions from around the globe.

The businesses come from as far as Dublin, Venice Beach, Milan and Berlin and all have a diverse mix of digital ideas and products. These include a Virtual Reality treadmill; an Internet of Things device that monitors and manages appliance electricity usage; a product for P2P real-time video streaming and a company that crowdsources real-time stats for sporting events.

Intensive three month programme based in London

With the backing of Virgin Media Business, its parent company, Liberty Global and Techstars, the ‘Virgin Media Accelerator powered by Techstars’  will run  an intense 13-week mentorship and guidance programme for the ten startups. Funding for the programme will be provided by Liberty Global.  

The accelerator, which begins at the end of March, will be housed in a newly refurbished space in Aldgate East, London. The program culminates with a Demo Day, where the Virgin Media Accelerator cohorts will pitch to investors.

Trip to Silicon Valley

To kick-off the programme the businesses will visit Silicon Valley next week to meet with some of the most successful and fastest growing tech companies including Google, Facebook and Cable Labs as well as CEOs from the Techstars portfolio.  The startups will then board a Virgin America flight to Denver where Sir Richard Branson will meet with the businesses after landing. On the flight, Sir Richard will take part in a live-streamed discussion on the “future of entrepreneurship” – which will be broadcast via LinkedIn from 35,000 feet. The trip will finish at Techstars’ HQ before the startups return to London.

While in Denver the startups will spend time at Techstars’ HQ and also visit the offices of programme sponsors, Liberty Global, before returning to London.

By making use of the accelerator’s global connections this trip will give the startups exposure in the US and provide a boost of inspiration heading into the accelerator programme.

Global network of mentors and expert advice culminating in a Demo Day

At the heart of this accelerator will be access to funding, business advice, help developing products and services and support from a global network of more than 7,000 founders, mentors, investors and corporate partners. These will include Sir Richard Branson; Tom Mockridge, CEO of Virgin Media; Peter Kelly, MD of Virgin Media Business; Bruce Dines, Vice President at Liberty Global Ventures and mentors from successful technology companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Stripe and Twilio.

After three months the startups will take part in a ‘Demo Day’ in London, where they will each pitch to some of the world’s leading investors for the chance to raise capital and secure further investment in their businesses. The demo day will be a chance for the startups to highlight the progress made so far with the reassurance of support continuing after the initial programme ends.

Peter Kelly, Managing Director, Virgin Media Business said:  “This accelerator is a true reflection of what we’re all about at Virgin Media – we are passionate about giving innovative businesses the support they need to reach their full digital potential. With the level of expertise backing this programme and the London location of the accelerator, these businesses are going to get the very best start to their entrepreneurial journey.”

Ryan Kuder, Managing Director, Virgin Media Accelerator powered by Techstars, said:  “We can’t wait to start helping these truly innovative startups grow and develop their business – it’s what we do best. With the backing of Virgin Media, Techstars and Liberty Global these startups will have access to some of the best business knowledge and expertise as well as a global network of contacts to help them rise above competitors.”

Bruce Dines, Vice President, Liberty Global Ventures said: “This is a first of its kind programme for Liberty Global done in partnership with Techstars and we cannot think of a stronger brand to associate with this accelerator than Virgin Media. London is the perfect location to give these startups the support, advice, funding and expertise they need to develop their ideas, grow their business and in turn inspire the next wave of budding entrepreneurs.”

The ten startups that will join the accelerator programme are:

Ecoisme - Poland | @ecoisme

Ecoisme is a home energy monitoring solution. It is capable of recognising individual devices in households based on their signature within the electrical grid. It allows people to track any device’s energy usage and receive personalised tips to reduce consumption.

GoalShouter - Italy | @GoalShouterITA

Connect supporters and football clubs of any size.

KonnectAgain - Ireland | @KonnectAgain

KonnectAgain provides a platform for organisations to keep engaged and up to date with ex-employees to ensure they never lose touch

Synervoz – Canada

Synervoz develops always-on voice communications software. Its flagship app, TurnMeUp, uses voice activity detection to automatically adjust volumes when somebody speaks, allowing people to listen to music and talk at the same time while wearing headphones.

Rally Networks - USA | @rally_networks

Rally is a rapid charging network that helps developers and enterprises drive mobile app downloads and high-value ad engagements. Customers at retail locations can charge their phone for free after downloading an app or engaging with an interactive ad. Businesses gain insights into their customer base through a data and analytics platform.

Repairly - UK | @repairly

Repairly connects people with local engineers to fix their electricals on-demand. The company currently fixes smartphones, laptops, desktops and tablets.

Sponsokit - Germany | @sponsokit

An easy-to-use platform where companies learn how to collaborate with social media creators.

Stepsize - UK | @StepsizeHQ

Stepsize’s mission is to make software development more accessible, efficient and powerful.

Programmers can use Stepsize's desktop app and website to find, reuse, and collaborate on code snippets so that they can be more productive.

TelToo - UK | @teltoo_cdn

A P2P CDN for video distribution.

Wizdish - UK | @wizdish

WizDish manufacture an exercise platform, designed for Virtual Reality, called the ROVR. It allows a player to perform simulated walk and run in any direction without moving from the spot.

Note to editors

About the Virgin Media Accelerator programme

  • On entering the programme, each company has the option to receive up to $120,000 (approximately £78,000) of funding in exchange for an equity stake and convertible loan note. This is broken down as follows:
  • On entering the programme, Liberty Global Ventures and Techstars will acquire a 6% equity stake in each of the 10 selected start-ups in exchange for an initial $20,000 (approximately £13,000) investment.
  • Each company will also have the option to take an additional $100,000 (approximately £65,000) convertible loan note backed by Liberty Global Ventures and Techstars, for up to an additional 4% equity stake.
  • We offer an Equity Back Guarantee.  If, after the programme is complete, a start-up is not completely satisfied with the value of the programme, Liberty Global Ventures and Techstars will give them back part, or all, of the 6% equity stake they initially exchanged to enter the programme.
  • During the 13-week programme, the 10 participants will have access to a range of support facilities, including executive assistants, personal trainers and nutritionists.
  • After Demo Day, founders will have the option of spending a week in either Chicago or Silicon Valley recharging and meeting with investors complements of Virgin Media