£4.1m Baltic Ventures invites early-stage tech companies to apply to join its first business accelerator programme in Liverpool. Tony McDonough reports
A Liverpool business accelerator aimed at early-stage tech companies is inviting applications for its first programme.
Successful applicants to the Baltic Ventures Accelerator 2023 programme will receive equity backing of £50,000 and access to expert mentoring. First unveiled in March, Baltic Ventures is backed with £4.1m from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
It occupies a ground floor studio space in Baltic Creative’s Digital House. Partners in Baltic Ventures are Baltic Creative CIC, Mark Rathbone of Liverpool law firm Brabners and Form and LivingLens co-founders, Carl Wong and David Woods.
The aim of the not-for-profit initiative is to create a platform to support northern tech businesses to access angel and VC investment without needing to head to London.
In 2022, Beauhurst found that 50% of announced equity deals and 69% of investment was deployed in London-based tech companies. In contrast, the North West secured only 6%.
This programme is open to “highly scalable” companies with an early product or prototype and the potential to make positive changes in the world.
Each successful company joining the programme will receive an initial £50,000 in equity backing, alongside a tailored four-month programme. This includes mentoring, masterclasses and networking with investors who may provide follow-on funding.
Those accepted onto the programme will also gain access to an expert coaching team of successfully exited founders and industry specialists.
They will catapult accepted accelerator companies and position them within the international investor market including two of the region’s most successful and well-known tech founders, Carl Wong and David Woods.
The pair founded LivingLens, a video technology company focusing on the market research and customer experience sectors. It was acquired by Silicon Valley-based Medallia in Feb 2020 for $26m.
And Mo Aldalou, previously of Tech Nation, joins as programme director, offering over a decade’s worth of knowledge and experience in business and tech scaling to help build a world-class accelerator within the region.
Successful applicants can also expect to receive masterclass workshops with leading industry experts. These are aimed at helping them to avoid common startup pitfalls and master the key principles needed to succeed as a founder.
Claire Lewis, chief executive of Baltic Ventures, said: “On each programme, we will be working with a maximum of 10 companies, to offer each founding team a tailored programme to optimise their success.
“As a platform, our ambition is to break patterns of bias by creating an inclusive space where the best founders can succeed, and anyone has the opportunity to realise their company’s potential.”
“We will give a platform to underserved founders building exceptional companies, by connecting founding teams with investors, talent and mentors.”
Applications close in June 2023, with Accelerator 2023 starting in September. For more information on the application guidelines and Baltic Ventures, log onto www.balticventures.uk
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool City Region, added: “Our area is lucky to be home to a thriving digital and creative sector that supports more than 4,000 SMEs and 20,000 jobs.
“Using the power that devolution has presented to us, I want to take advantage of our existing strengths and catapult our tech sector to the next level.”