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UK startups! Turn dreams into reality with Microsoft Ventures

Entrepreneurs throughout the world are working hard towards creating successful tech businesses. At Microsoft we've long recognised that innovation is crucial for global growth, and we've been trying to remove the barriers stopping dreams from becoming reality with programmes like BizSpark, which has been going for nearly five years.

And so we founded Microsoft Ventures to partner with promising startups around the world – the aim of which is to build great businesses. As part of it, we’ve set up what are known in the industry as business ‘accelerators’. Accelerators are programmes that help fledgling companies to quickly bring their ideas and ambitions to life with training, tools and resources that basically compress the length of time it takes to launch into market from two years to three months.

The accelerator is the latest to be announced as part of a global footprint of 10 accelerators that are planned to open. Today we will embark on the next stage of our journey in London’s Tech City, where the technology start-up scene is growing exponentially with a melting pot of bright entrepreneurs full of passion and big ideas.

The 12-week London Accelerator

From today, we are giving high-potential UK tech and gaming startups the opportunity to apply for our London accelerator, a 12-week structured programme that includes 1:1 mentoring. As well as technical assistance, participants will have access to our broad range of partners who can open up numerous channels to market.

At the culmination of the programme, the startups will present their ideas at a demo day to a panel of venture capitalists, investors and mentors within the technology community. Successful candidates may attain funding or a licensing deal. Gaming startups, for example, can benefit from technical expertise, knowledge and the opportunity to publish their games to Xbox One – as well as the opportunity to work with Microsoft studios.

We want to make sure every startup that works with the accelerator has a plan that helps them succeed after it ends. The programme will take place in Shoreditch and we’re looking for technology and gaming start-ups.