Virgin Media & Techstars Reveal 10 Startups to Join New London-Based Accelerator

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  • 10 innovative startups from around the globe chosen to join new
    mentor-driven accelerator
  • Funding for the programme will be provided by Liberty Global
  • 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

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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.

Notes 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

About Techstars

Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new
technologies to market wherever they choose to live. With dozens of
mentorship-driven accelerator programs and thousands of community
programs worldwide, Techstars exists to support the world’s most
promising entrepreneurs throughout their lifelong journey, from
inspiration to IPO. Techstars provides access to tens of thousands of
community leaders, founders, mentors, investors, and corporate partners,
allowing entrepreneurs to accelerate the pace of innovation and Do More
Faster™. Techstars supports every stage of the entrepreneurial journey –
from early stage grassroots community development to more formal
opportunities that provide education, experience, acceleration, funding,
and beyond.

About Virgin Media Business

Virgin Media Business is the division of Virgin Media that provides
products and services to UK businesses and the public sector. We have
more than 36,000 business customers, most of them small and medium
enterprises. We also partner with the public sector; with local councils
and thousands of schools to improve connectivity in communities and
support learning; and with the emergency services to enable them to
efficiently perform their life-saving skills.

We’re part of the Virgin Media group, the UK’s first provider of all
four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services. Virgin Media
is a part of Liberty Global plc, the world’s largest international cable
company. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 27 million
customers across 14 countries, helping connect people to the digital
world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless
possibilities.

Contacts

Virgin Media
James Lusher, 07870380174
James.Lusher@virginmedia.co.uk