Incubators and Accelerators: An updated directory for the UK

Apr 18, 2017 · nesta.org.uk

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Nesta releases new study on the landscape of business incubators and accelerators in the UK.

Nesta has a long-standing interest in understanding startup support, including methods of incubation and acceleration.

Today, we publish a new study, commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and produced by Nesta with support from the UK Science Parks Association (UKSPA) and Synoptica, an artificial intelligence data provider, which maps the landscape of incubators and accelerators in the UK, identifying where they are located and what sectors they cover.

At the same time, we are also publishing a new directory of incubators and accelerators in the UK. This directory is, we believe, the most comprehensive of its kind for the UK and we hope that it will be a useful tool for both entrepreneurs searching for programmes and facilities to which they can apply, as well as to researchers.

Key Findings

- We identified 205 incubators and 163 accelerators currently active in the UK, considerably more than previously estimated.

- We estimate that these incubators and accelerators support around 3,450 and 3,660 new businesses per year, respectively, and therefore represent an important component of the startup ecosystem.

- We estimate that financial support provided by accelerators equates to around £33 million of investment into startups per year.

- We find that the previous view of accelerators as 'feeder programmes' for incubators no longer hold true: in our study, accelerators reported catering to a similar profile of business stages as incubators, suggesting that accelerators are best seen as alternatives to incubators rather than precursors.

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