About the programme

Accelerator Academy is now a virtual programme from The Accelerator Network to prepare startup companies for their growth round of funding and to build scalable businesses through remote access. We are here to help, especially in current unprecedented times via virtual support

Accelerator Academy, delivered by The Accelerator Network, is a successful and established 12 week high growth programme, now enabled virtually, for ambitious digital entrepreneurs looking to grow their business through Training, Mentoring and Access to Capital.

10 to 12 high growth potential start-ups with strong tech focus across sectors (often SaaS, marketplaces, B2B) are selected per cohort and they are matched with successful exited entrepreneurs for tailored mentoring throughout the duration of the course.

The programme ‘market tests’ business ideas and models, to give entrepreneurs the best chance of success and investor readiness. This is done via:

  • Weekly Academy classroom sessions and workshops (online)
  • Weekly Mentoring from a dedicated Personal Business Mentor (all exited tech entrepreneurs)
  • Fortnightly Accelerator Clinics
  • 65 (remote access) hours of training, mentoring and support,
  • Intensive, structured support around team, market and investor readiness.
  • The opportunity to present to key early stage investors at the end of the programme.
  • Attendance to other start up and Accelerator events
  • Discounted and fixed fee legal and accounting services from our sponsor partners.
  • Admittance to the Accelerator Academy Alumni (upon successfully completing the programme), providing ongoing support, events, investor introductions and regular news / offers.

This is a part-time programme that runs on Monday evenings.

Cost and Sponsorship

Sponsorship subsidises the Accelerator Academy, from partners who can give and get from their participation.  Sponsors attend and speak at relevant sessions sharing their expertise.  The upfront fee for accepted companies is £600 + VAT for the full 12 week programme, with the help of sponsor subsidies.  Additionally, accepted companies agree to selling an aggregate of 5% of shares at a discounted (-20%) value split among The Accelerator Network (TAN) and your assigned exited entrepreneur mentor.  This is a (dilutive) option to buy, and gives the opportunity to TAN and your mentor to invest financially in your business as it grows in the following 5 years, along with their knowledge and time investment during the Accelerator Academy programme, and support beyond the semester.

Meet Hugo Drayton, Exited Entrepreneur Mentor Accelerator Academy

Week 1 Programme Overview and Goals How you will make the most of the programme, meet our partners and your mentor.
Week 2 Market Research Defining the opportunity, ensuring you are an expert in your chosen market
Week 3 Product Development Ensuring you have a robust product development roadmap
Week 4 Differentiation How are you going to stand out from the crowd and attract you customers?
Week 5 Marketing What channels will you use and how will you measure them?
Week 6 Sales Outlining your sales strategy and how you are going to grow your revenues
Week 7 Team Building Attract, recruit and retain the best team for your startup
Week 8 Legal Readiness Ensuring you have a strong legal foundation for your startup
Week 9 Financial and Investment Readiness Understanding how to present your financials to an investor and the investment landscape
Week 10 Pitch Practice Present your business & investment proposition for feedback
Week 11 Completion Session What is next - life after the Academy
Week 12 Investor Event Showcase you business to an audience of engaged and active early stage investors

Join us on Monday evenings, Wednesday afternoons and 1:1 time with your mentor each week

6pm - 615pm Introduction to the Weekly Session
615pm - 7pm Keynote Presentation
7pm - 730pm Q&A with our leading subject matter experts
730pm - 745pm Break
745pm - 830pm Workshop on the weekly topic with your Mentro
830pm - 9pm Round robin of learnings, setting of assignment & close
We are looking to work with high growth ambitious startup companies (not entrepreneurs with vague ideas).
We want scaleable businesses, capable of delivering a 10x return on seed stage investment within a 5 year timescale.
We want to see proof of concept (prototype, user data).
We love seeing commercial interest (sales, orders, letters of intent). The bigger the better!
We prioritise companies whose founders have brilliant domain expertise.
We prefer at least co-founders to sole founders. Virtual support teams / NEDs are OK.
In-house development / tech tends to outrank outsourced support.
We want exceptionally hard working founders, prepared to listen and learn, apply knowledge into their startup to build impressive businesses that can “outrun the competition”.
Our preference is for disruptive tech.
We work across B2B / B2C and B2B2C.
Companies can be pre-revenue or generating sales, where possible we like to select businesses that are or can generate revenue during the 12 week programme.
Companies should be within their first year of trading.
Ideally with a UK Limited company (at least within the ‘group’ if based abroad).
Evidence of prior founder investment (“skin in the game”) is increasingly the norm (ideally cash invested, salary sacrifice, or debt / equity raised).
Once accepted we expect absolute commitment to the training sessions and mentor meetings.


Meet Accelerator Academy 25th Semester alumni Lena Rosenior, CEO & Founder of Assetrak

  • Accelerator Academy is THE place for getting honest and no-nonsense scrutiny of your business ideas. It helped us evaluate and validate any assumptions we made (which is more common than it seems), which is of paramount importance for building a strong foundation for any business. The entire team and the mentors’ advice was instrumental in making a strong base for our business idea to be built upon

  • Joining the Accelerator Academy early in our journey, benefitted our business greatly, as we were able to adopt techniques, receive key industry advice at a time that was crucial for us. ‘We didn’t know what we didn’t know!’- so having the experts on hand to ‘fill’ knowledge gaps was invaluable to us. Our business has indeed thrived under the support of the Accelerator Academy and has placed us in a great position should we look to seek funding in the future

  • Going through Accelerator Academy helped us re-prioritise what's important when building a business. I'd recommend the program to founders who are looking for business acceleration (this means you already have traction and have demonstrated early product market fit) and who are preparing for financing - AA really understands what British investors are looking for.

  • Accelerator Academy is an amazing opportunity for your startup to learn how to scale your company in the UK. Every week there's a new relevant topic within entrepreneurship, with your company in the centre of execution. It's almost like taking an MBA. Accelerator Academy comes highly recommended.

  • Just to say a big thank you for your support to date. We have now wrapped up the investment round. We couldn't have got here without that initial structure, business plan kicking, and investor network from the Accelerator Academy. The process works!

  • Joining the Accelerator Academy has been one of the best decisions we've made all year. The last 12-weeks have been pretty full on, but with the support of the programme we've now got a credible business plan that makes us investor ready and will allow us to take the business to the next level

  • We entered the programme with an exciting product and good traction with clients. However, we were keen to better understand the investor landscape and to be able to frame our investment proposition clearly. The Accelerator Academy helped build our investment readiness in a very short timeframe. Our knowledge and skills grew through the classroom training and the feedback on our assignments. The invaluable guidance from our mentor (who is now an investor in our business) helped us both with client engagement and investor readiness. Along the way, we have built a great network with other startups facing similar opportunities and challenges and look forward to the continuing support of the Accelerator Network over the coming years.



Doers and thinkers from the world of startups and innovation

Clarelisa Camilleri

Clarelisa Camilleri

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Amy Chao

Amy Chao

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Clarelisa Camilleri

Clarelisa Camilleri

Clarelisa, Programme Operations Manager, ensures the smooth running of Accelerator Academy for startups raising seed funding, alongside other key programmes from The Accelerator Network: The Scaleup Accelerator for scaleups raising Series A, FastForward Pre-Accelerator, and Cyber 101. She is responsible for selecting the companies, managing the delivery of the programmes and establishing strategic relationships with the companies, experts and mentors.

Clarelisa previously worked in a European Network of business innovation centres (EU BICs) for over 5 years, coordinating the certification process of about 150 global incubators according to European quality standards. During this time she also managed multi-stakeholder programmes across a wide range of sectors, such as a three-year programme (FIBIA) funded by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation to stimulate inclusive entrepreneurship at European level.

Clarelisa is Italian-Venezuelan and graduated with a masters degree from the Imperial College Business School in 2013.brings with her early stage Venture Capital experience, having worked with over 100 companies raising between £150k – £1m from a variety of sources.



is the chair of The Accelerator Network and founder of the Accelerator Academy, Ian Merricks is deeply involved in the UK start-up community and early stage investment space as an investor, advisor, and operator.
In his 17 years of experience within the Tech, Media & Telecoms market, he has launched a music PR agency, 2 record labels, and 16 radio stations. He also created a network of best-selling city guide books and websites, a youth promotions agency, an academic contract publishing business, a B2B media planning and buying agency, and a tech investment advisory business. Along the way, he has also worked with the boards of FTSE100 companies like EMAP, as well as IPC and The Wireless Group as a commercial and corporate troubleshooter.

He has been involved in raising over £45m of equity and debt in corporate deals, and has advised on £52m of M&A transactions this year alone.



is Programme Manager & looks after Investor Relations at The Accelerator Network. He has previously launched, and successfully exited a startup based in Italy. Luigi started off his career as a lawyer before he saw the startup light!

Amy Chao

Amy Chao

Amy, Marketing & Community Engagement Manager, shares stories of inspiring founders and investment successes to champion engagement with diverse tech entrepreneurs and further collaborative synergy with our ecosystem partners. She comes from a background across travel, fashion and retail intersecting tech in UK, US, and Asia growing lifestyle brands with roles and consulting projects for clients in design, product, strategy and digital.

Experienced with accelerators startup side as early team at Safe & The City street-smarts navigation app and consultant to connected clothing mcommerce app. She is part of Tech London Advocates RetailTech team curating events featuring startup disruptors and industry insight and discussion. Advocate of tech inclusion previously at not-for-profit VR Diversity Initiative.

Amy was right hand to founders of multi-brand accessories company later acquired by Li & Fung in $300m deal. Between London and NY, Amy was an entrepreneur in 2 Bali lifestyle businesses in fashion and surf.







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