This is your opportunity to invest in each of the companies participating in Ignite's London accelerator programme, which starts at the end of September 2016. We intend to select 9 or 10 companies to participate in this cohort.
Founded in 2011, Ignite has delivered 9 accelerator programmes, investing over £2m into more than 80 companies. We are now fundraising for our 10th programme which will be investing in early stage startups in London in Q4 2016.
Backed by one of the most experienced and active group of UK angels, our programme features a strong network of mentors and investors that gives our startups an unfair advantage.
We are passionate believers in investing primarily in strong teams who have industry experience and who are looking to change the way that a market operates. Our experience over the last 5 years shows that we can help strong teams to deliver innovation that is potentially world changing by helping them refine their proposition and introducing them to the right mentors and investors.
The total amount of the fund that we are aiming to raise for this programme is between £288,000 and £320,000, depending on whether we select 9 or 10 companies for the latest cohort. After the success of the Ignite campaign on Seedrs earlier this year we wanted to make sure that we opened our next programme up to the community again.
Our first London cohort launched in January of this year. The ten companies were extremely diverse, ranging from a platform connecting smallholder farmers with supermarkets in South Africa, to a hardware/software solution for crowd management, with everything in between. Collectively they represented the strongest Ignite cohort we have seen so far, and since the programme ended in April they’ve gone from strength to strength. So far, six of the companies have raised seed rounds, ranging in size from £120,000 to £400,000, with much of the funding coming from their initial programme investors, including several Seedrs investors.
When we raised the round for our first London cohort on Seedrs last year, we described what we saw as a big opportunity in the London accelerator market. Entrepreneurs struggled to find an established programme that offered support to early-stage businesses and investment to allow founders to focus exclusively on their business. This created an untapped market of strong teams that were unsupported by the current market of programmes, either because these programmes targeted later-stage teams or experienced entrepreneurs, or offered no investment.
This opportunity still persists. The positive reception that our first London programme received - engaged and active mentors, sold-out investor lunches and a packed end-of-programme showcase - confirmed that there is a real need for what we are offering. We want to build on this momentum and produce another full programme before Christmas.
We’re confident in our ability to deliver a programme as strong as the last, that will discover exceptional talent and support it through an experienced management team, mentors and investors.
Ignite History and Background
Ignite was established in Newcastle in 2011 and ran one accelerator per year in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Following the early success of the programme, in 2014 we decided to run three accelerators per year.
Until the end of 2015 these had all been based in Newcastle upon Tyne, but in 2016 we expanded our reach across the UK and ran programmes in London and Manchester.
Ignite’s management team is one of the most experienced in Europe having personally delivered nine accelerator programmes between them over the last five years:
Martyn Davies, Programme Director - London, a developer by trade he worked as SendGrid’s European lead before joining Ignite after a regular turn as a mentor and venture partner. He held roles at the BBC and Universal Music Group before founding his own API development company. He serves as a non-exec director and advisor to several startups including Ignite alumni Chew.tv and Leaf.fm.
Tristan Watson, CEO, was one of the founders that took part in one of the UK’s first mentor-led accelerator programme (Difference Engine) and went on to raise VC investment. He’s an occasional angel investor and specialises in working with teams on business planning, financial forecasting and investment strategy.
Jon Bradford, Advisor and Co-Founder, set up the Springboard accelerator before co-founding Ignite and then going on to set up Techstars London. Jon is an active advisor to Ignite as well as co-founder of F6S and Tech.eu
Substantial accomplishments to date
Ignite is privileged to enjoy the support of some of the UK’s most successful tech entrepreneurs as both programme Angels and supporters of Ignite. We have worked with some of the UK’s top VCs who have invested in our portfolio companies including Balderton, Passion Capital, EC1 and Frontline.
Some highlights include:
Reposit (Q1 2016)
Reposit is disrupting the housing tenancy deposit market. Instead of paying the usual 6 or 8 weeks of rent upfront, new tenants can purchase a Reposit for the cost of one week’s rent. The team of three are based in London and have raised a £400,000 seed round since the programme finished in April.
Moltin (Q4 2013)
Moltin provides developers with the building blocks needed to build eCommerce websites and mobile applications through cloud-based APIs. Built by a team of three from Newcastle, they have since gone on to take part in Y Combinator and have raised a seed round from investors including Frontline Ventures.
Jinn (Q4 2013)
Jinn is an on-demand concierge app that will deliver you anything you want within one hour. Initially launching in just West London the service is available in five cities across the UK. Jinn is generating significant revenue and has just raised a $7.5m Series A round.
Flux (Q2 2015)
Flux brings the power and flexibility of programmatic ad buying to Digital out of Home (DooH) screens allowing a much wider range of companies to advertise on digital signs and billboards. A great example of how Ignite seeks out and supports new entrepreneurial talent, Flux was founded by two engineering graduates from Newcastle University following graduation.
Leaf.fm (Q3 2014)
A passionate team of music lovers, designers and developers, Leaf is a mobile first experience, using tech built on top of YouTube and social content to empower artists and music creators to regain direct control of their fanbase to promote and monetise content and merchandise.
The Leaf.fm app has already received several hundred thousand downloads around the world and continues to show significant growth and traction.
The team raised over £450,000 in 2015, leveraging Ignite’s investor network to raise through Doug Scott’s Angellist syndicate and Northstar Ventures.
What we do
The 12 week programme breaks down into three broad sections:
Weeks 1 - 4: Shape.
Teams that we invest in will have identified an interesting problem but often have chosen to build the first solution that they were able to identify. Through a combination of mentoring, customer conversations and reviews we aim to help teams to pull their idea apart, identify any weak assumptions and put it back together in a much more scalable way.
Weeks 5 - 9: Build.
Over the next five weeks we give teams the opportunity to build and iterate their business as they put it into contact with real world customers. We also help give them the skills that they need to grow their company by putting them through our Start-Up MBA where they learn from founders who’ve already gone out there, done it and have the scars to prove it.
Weeks 10 - 12: Sell.
Pitching products and concepts to investors is part of startup life, and a well-crafted, well-delivered pitch is an essential skill that can be taught to founders. During these three weeks, teams learn the basics of creating a compelling presentation that best tells the story of their product and how it solves customer pain in a substantial and attractive market.
Further Key Features of the Programme
Each team will formally meet with the programme management at least once a week to set and evaluate milestones, to discuss and resolve their progress and challenges, and to support the team in delivering on the programme’s objectives.
FOLLOW ON SUPPORT.
The end of the twelve week programme does not spell the end of our relationship with the teams. Once they leave, founders have access to on-going advice and support from the Ignite team, as well as from our robust and wide-reaching alumni network.
What's on offer
By investing in this campaign you will be investing in each of the companies that make up the Ignite London Cohort which kicks off in Q4 2016. Each team will receive £32k, for which investors receive 6% in ordinary shares in their company. As an investor you will receive a proportion of the equity in each company directly proportional to the amount you invest – so if you invest £20,000 and we select 10 companies for the cohort, then you will receive 0.38% in every company that takes part – if you invest £5,000 then you will receive 0.09% in each company. As mentioned above, we will raise either £288k or £320k, depending on whether we select 9 or 10 companies for the latest cohort.
The money that you invest through Seedrs will be held in escrow until we have selected the companies that are taking part in the accelerator programme and completed investment paperwork for them. At that point Seedrs will invest directly into each company in exchange for equity, and act as nominee for all the investors who took part in this campaign.
Ignite will then deliver regular reports on the progress of the companies through the Seedrs platform.
One of the aims of the Ignite programme is to get each company ready for further funding and assist with sourcing funding. Seedrs requires pre-emption rights from each company. However, Seedrs may waive these pre-emption rights to facilitate a quick completion of follow on funding for the companies at the end of the programme.
How will we invest your money and what are the fees?
Ignite aims to invest £32,000 into each company taking part in the programme in exchange for 6% of the equity of each company. This means that each company has a pre-money valuation of £501,333.
Each company then pays a fee of £15,000 (including any applicable VAT), split between Ignite and Seedrs. This ensures that 100% of the investment will be eligible for tax relief (subject to the circumstances of the individual investor and subject to change).
The fee payable to Seedrs is instead of the regular commission Seedrs would charge on the campaign. The fee payable to Ignite is for taking part in the programme in order to cover the day-to-day running costs of delivering the accelerator. In addition to this fee, Ignite Holdings Ltd will receive 1% of the equity in each of the companies and an additional 1% will be shared between the Ignite management team, in exchange for the services provided by Ignite. This ensures that the programme management team's long term interests are aligned with the success of the companies taking part.
Ignite does not otherwise take any carry fee on the investments. The Seedrs standard carry fees will apply to investors under the Seedrs nominee.
Advantages of investing with Ignite
1. Portfolio – Ignite provides a ready made portfolio of early stage, highly scalable technology businesses that have been pre-vetted by the experienced Ignite team from hundreds of prospective applications.
2. Simplicity – Investing with Ignite through Seedrs means that all paperwork, SEIS certification and due diligence is carried out on your behalf.
3. SEIS Relief – Ignite is an SEIS investment programme which means that, if you qualify, you can reclaim 50% of your investment as tax relief, plus additional levels of relief if your investments fail. (This is dependent on the circumstances of the individual and is subject to change). You can read more about SEIS relief in the Seedrs documentation.
We are excited to offer investors the following investor perks:
£1,000 - invest £1,000 or more, and you’ll be invited to attend our exclusive investor-only social events.
£5,000 - as well as the investor social events, you’ll be invited to join us for investor lunches at the programme’s culmination.
£10,000 - Invest £10,000 or more, and you’ll get early access to the programme and an invite to our programme dinner in late September, when you can meet the teams and other investors.
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