FFWD London debuts first ever pre-accelerator programme for startups

FastForward London has launched the world’s first pre-accelerator programme that is designed to assist startups in the journey towards securing funding from investors.

City University London and the Accelerator Academy are behind the scheme that is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and backed by the Capital Accelerator Programme with the aim to create at least 44 high-growth startups over the coming 24 months.

“FFWD plugs the gap between fledgling ideas and startup accelerators by providing a specially designed programme where entrepreneurs can take their ideas and make rapid progress towards creating a funded business,” said Ben Mumby-Croft, enterprise education manager at City University. “It is an ambitious programme, which City is delighted to be involved in, and we look forward to working with our partners Accelerator Academy to pioneer a new methodology that can be used across the UK and then across the European Union. ”

It has been designed as a blueprint that will eventually be rolled out to other parts of Europe in 2015 and of the 44 UK high-growth startups that it plans to create, 35 will be funded by over £6 million in secured funding and it’s hoped that 172 jobs will be created as a result.

Some of the partners that are already involved include New Entrepreneur First, HealthBox, BBC Labs, TrueStart, TechStars, The Bakery and UKTI's Sirius Programme.

The programme will be delivered in “one-day sprints” that cover a six-week period with an induction day for the 25 selected startups on 19 June. This will go over a number of topics such as technology, marketing and finance, using a mixture of delivery methods including expert speakers, industry mentoring, and hands-on experience.

It will then culminate in a mass pitching session in September that will allow companies to present ideas to accelerators, grant providers and early stage investors.