Birmingham UK is set to boost tech startups all over again as Oxygen Accelerator prepares its new program for 2012.
Companies that register for the hot-house can benefit from investment of up to €41,000 per team and it is taking applications right now.
The Oxygen Accelerator program consists of a 13 week boot camp, starting on October 1st with a another 13 week incubation period following that. 10 startups will be selected to work in Birmingham’s Science Park with access to industry-leading mentors who will provide support and advice on how to close on funding rounds and become revenue generating businesses.
Last year’s selection appears to have done rather well out of the experience, Mark Hales founder and chairman says, “Five of the Oxygen Accelerator 2011 startups have secured or are close to securing their first significant rounds of investment to the tune of between £100,000 and £300,000 each. These companies have subsequently been valued at between £500,000 to £1 million a piece, only months after the first Oxygen programme drew to a close.”
Refreshing the course
The new program sees some changes based on feedback from the teams, investors and mentors who worked on last year’s efforts.
The arrangement of 13 weeks acceleration followed by 13 weeks of incubation means that teams get more support while trying to close investment rounds. As a result of tax changes in the last budget, Oxygen Accelerator changed from a soft loan to equity investment.
Founder investment has increased from €6k to €7,500k per founder with a maximum of 3 founders per team. There is now up to €6k re-location allowance available too so in total, funding could be as much as €28,500k for 8% equity.
Oxygen Accelerator has also introduced a further €12,500k of investment for the incubation phase for a further 2% of equity. So the total potential investment of the whole 26 weeks is €41,000 for 10% equity.
When it comes to advice from the experts, the accelerator has some rich pickings, 110 mentors signed up for this year’s program. So it sounds as though it will be an intense but rewarding process.
Those who wish to take part had better get a wriggle on, applications close on July 31 and with more than 50 pre-applications already received, competition will be stiff. The online application forms can be found here.
We look forward to hearing about the companies that can take things further and generate some interesting new businesses out of the Midlands.
Image Credit: Ell Brown