Silicon Valley’s Founder Institute launches Bristol accelerator

The world’s largest pre-seed start-up accelerator has opened applications for its first UK programme outside of London, taking place in Bristol.

The Founder Institute is a Silicon Valley-based incubator set up in 2009 which now has schemes in 185 cities around the globe.

The 14-week programme in Bristol is starting in September and will be mostly delivered online.

A group of local and international mentors will guide participants through the course, providing companies with information and advice.

Sandeep Roy, founder of Innovate2grow, a growth innovation and strategic digital advisory company for SMEs, is heading up the programme locally.

Mr Roy, who said he is “keen to develop an inclusive innovation ecosystem” in the region, is an ex-financial markets banker, a guest lecturer on innovation and strategy at Oxford Brookes University and the University of West England.

He said: “In times of change, entrepreneurs get to work building the future. Now, more than ever, the world needs entrepreneurs to build the future. Let’s help them build something.”

The institute said it had helped more than 4,300 founders create companies since it started 10 years ago, including Udemy, Appota and Travelcar.

Organisations in the region that have expressed interest in taking part include Crowdcube; Invest Bristol & Bath; Natwest Bank; Techspark; Tech SouthWest; Bristol Innovation Group; Stephenson Law and the Development Bank of Wales.

The Founder Institute is also hosting a webinar tomorrow (July 21) on how companies can raise money. The session is taking place at 5pm.

To apply for the September programme, visit or for details on the webinar, visit

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