NatWest to welcome 2,500 entrepreneurs to accelerator programme

Entrepreneurs looking to grow and scale their businesses are being urged to apply to join NatWest’s accelerator programme, as it prepares to welcome a record number of new businesses in September.

The accelerator programme, which was recently ranked as the third-best startup hub in Europe for networking, has supported thousands of entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Businesses with high growth potential benefit from a range of support through NatWest’s accelerator hubs. This includes expert coaching, access to a wide network of like-minded peers and a programme of thought leadership and events.

The programme is free for participating businesses and entrepreneurs do not need to give up any equity in their business to take part.

Former accelerator ‘alumni’ include GoJoe, a social fitness app which enables workplaces and brands to connect and engage their people.

Used by global companies such as Amazon, British Gas and Diageo, GoJoe motivates employees through innovative team-based virtual challenges. The company raised over £1 million in seed investment in 2022 and has just completed its latest round.

Phil Steele, co-founder of GoJoe, said: “When we started with the NatWest Accelerator, we were little more than two guys and a PowerPoint.

“Thanks to the coaching, mentoring and support that we’ve received through the accelerator, we have now completed two funding rounds, which included professional athlete investment, created a product which is loved by the world’s best companies and assembled a team who will help us achieve our ambition of changing the way the world exercises.

“Quite simply, the programme really has ‘powered us up’, been our sherpa and catalyst for growth – a no-brainer for ambitious startups.”

NatWest operates 13 physical and one digital accelerator hubs spread across the UK, in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Southampton and Warwick.

Applications are now open for the next accelerator cohort, with a closing date of 2 August. Up to 2500 places will be available for free to entrepreneurs.

Darren Pirie, head of the NatWest Accelerator, said: “In today’s ever-changing business landscape, growth is a necessity. The UK is home to some of the world’s most innovative start-ups, but it can be better at supporting ambitious businesses to grow, which is where our expertise comes in.

“As the UK’s biggest bank for startups, we understand that helping businesses succeed, not just through traditional lending but with full wraparound support, is crucial if we want a strong economy. And that’s exactly what we do – in our accelerator hubs, we’ve seen a whole host of businesses secure investment, grow their teams and move into other markets.

“We’re offering a record number of places on our accelerator programme in September to help more ambitious businesses on their path to growth.

“Every member of the programme is given the best start possible with access to expert mentors, networking opportunities and modern office space. We really do see the programme live up to its name. It can really accelerate your business.”

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