London is known as one of the best cities to start a tech business. The capital has all the ingredients to make it happen, including most importantly a thriving digital ecosystem which includes a range of high profile incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces. Here's our pick of the top 10 London tech incubators (not ranked in any particular order).
Top 10 Incubators in London
CyLon is the world's leading cyber security accelerator and seed investment programme. From defence to retail, telecoms to financial services, digital industries to health services, safeguarding information through rigorous and scalable cyber security has become central to a successful economy.
CyLon’s programme offers entrepreneurs all the training necessary to build and grow a successful cyber security company.
Top Industries active in: Cyber Security, Software and Security.
Number of Investments: 70
CyLon's most notable exits include Keyp, AimBrain, and Codebashing.
2. Breed Reply
Breed Reply, Reply's active operational investor, funds and supports the development of early-stage companies in the Internet of Things (IoT) in Europe and the USA. Based in London, with operational offices in Germany and Italy, Breed Reply supports entrepreneurs and young talent by quickly bringing new ideas to the market. This is done via three fundamental services: funding at early-stage level; active operational involvement with significant know how transfer of business, managerial and technological expertise; and go-to-market support through the extensive Reply network.
Breed Reply’s focus is the Internet of Things over all markets, with their current portfolio in Health, Fitness & Wellness, Smart Building & Cities, Security, Industrial IoT, Big Data, Platforms and Drones.
Top Industries active in: Software, Information Technology and Artificial Intelligence.
Number of Investments: 38
Breed Reply's most notable exits include Senseye, Wearable Technologies, and Sentryo.
3. Insurtech Gateway
The insurance industry has so many barriers to entry, founders often run out of energy and money just trying to get in. The Gateway is a one-stop-shop for founders, where they can get underwriting paper, investment capital and advice on how to design and build their startup, all surrounded by great insurance partners. The Gateway fund supports the portfolio post incubation, to Series A and beyond.
The Gateway are our insurance sherpas, guiding us through the wilderness of insurance Mark Musson, co-founder, Humn.ai (Gateway portfolio company)
Insurers often struggle to innovate within their own businesses, the Gateway enable insurers to do this in a safe environment. They facilitate insurers, technology partners and insurtechs to get to know each other and work together, over the whole duration of building a business.
The Gateway would like to meet early-stage founders with game-changing ideas or products, and progressive (re)insurers who are interested in collaboration.
Top Industries active in: Insurance, InsurTech and Financial Services.
Number of Investments: 33
4. Potential VC
Potential VC IS THE IMPACT FUND BUILDER Building a community of smart, humble people to develop the conscious leaders of the future. Our VC Universe is a collection of funds targeting high-impact areas of innovation. We offer patient capital to founders and support to fund managers whose goals & consciousness aligns with ours.
Top Industries active in: E-Commerce, Apps and Software.
Number of Investments: 21
Potential VC's most notable exits include Moltin, Receptive, and Washbox.
5. Startup Campus
Startup Campus is a decentralized global brand with four key pillars: Incubation, Consulting, Investment and Education. Startup Campus offers a solution to the most significant issue of local start-up ecosystems, the need for the recruitment of new start-ups. Beyond the continous provision of recruits, the program is capable of preparing start-ups for investments with its support services.
Startup Campus is a global program for innovative businesses from the idea phase to global market entry. With an international team and an extensive partner network, they provide training and education, incubation, international market entry and investment services in 7 major cities (London, Berlin, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Budapest) of the world.
Top Industries active in: Software, Health Care and Mobile Apps.
Number of Investments: 21
6. Blenheim Chalcot
They have since built over 40 businesses in a variety of sectors, including IT services and outsourcing, financial services, education, travel, software, sport and media. Today, their companies have sales of over £350m and employ in excess of 3000 people. Working with entrepreneurs and co-founders, they continue to create and build businesses in these sectors, often from the ground up.
They have developed a number of principles that determine the businesses and industries they engage in. They look for high growth, potentially large industry sectors, typically undergoing some market, technology or regulatory discontinuity, where they can build scalable platforms that satisfy a significant customer need, resulting in strong and sustainable margins.
Top Industries active in: Financial Services, Internet and FinTech.
Number of Investments: 19
Blenheim Chalcot's most notable exits include Code Kingdoms and Contentive.
Zinc builds new tech companies that solve the developed world’s toughest social issues. Learning from the successful innovation systems in computer and life sciences, Zinc combines insights from social sciences with top entrepreneurial talent and venture capital to build new, scalable, mission-led businesses. The Zinc Programme brings together 50bright minds for 6 months to find their co-founders and build new commercial businesses from scratch.
Top Industries active in: Wellness, Health Care and Apps.
Number of Investments: 16
8. Recruitment Entrepreneur
Recruitment Entrepreneur is the world’s most exciting investor in early to mid-size recruitment start-ups. Since 2014, we’ve invested in 27 talented founders across 22 global office locations, enabling them to launch and scale successful businesses. Our success lies in our ability to provide not just knowledge, but also know-how. Investing time, money, and experience in people with the potential to become great leaders, we partner with and empower budding entrepreneurs to build world-class recruitment businesses, capable of achieving a high equity value on exit.
In terms of scale, focus and sophistication, there is no other investment business to rival Recruitment Entrepreneur. Our exclusive focus on the recruitment sector, underpinned by a highly experienced management team with a proven track record of success, is core to our unique market positioning and offering.
We have fostered a community of businesses that benefit from the expertise of our dedicated team who provide; funding, financial expertise, operational strategy, back-office support, legal advice, marketing and talent attraction solutions, all of which enable our partner businesses to flourish. Discover our services here.
In 2018 we launched Recruitment Entrepreneur Australia. Reflecting on the launch, Chairman James Caan CBE commented, I’m incredibly excited to be able to offer talented and entrepreneurial recruiters an opportunity to create personal wealth and own their own business.
As a rapidly expanding portfolio of businesses operating across numerous industry sectors and global locations, we’re always looking to bring on board and develop talent. We have exceptional opportunities for recruitment consultants, senior consultants, executive search consultants, practice team leaders and managers.
Top Industries active in: Recruiting, Staffing Agency and Human Resources.
Number of Investments: 14
9. Signal Ventures
Innovation at scale in shipping and logistics can only be achieved through expansive collaborations and by leveraging synergies in data and technology. At Signal Ventures we are building an ecosystem of entrepreneurs and startups that have data, technology, skills and experience complementary to ours. Together, we build transformative new products and enhance existing ones.
Our focus is SaaS, advanced analytics, optimisation and artificial intelligence. Every partnership is unique and how we work with companies is flexible: Our goal is to accelerate startups at every stage of their development. We work on:
-> Incubation of new startups at our venture studio, with our Entrepreneur-in-Residence program
-> Strategic equity investments to early stage startups with a clear fit in our ecosystem
-> Data and technology partnerships to expand our ecosystem’s product offerings
The Signal Group is an ecosystem of high-growth start-ups that share one common goal – enhancing the competitive performance of companies operating within the shipping and energy sectors through technological innovation. At the helm of these companies is Greek entrepreneur Ioannis Martinos, formerly co-CEO of Thenamaris, one of the world’s most successful shipping companies.
Established in 2014, and headquartered in London, with offices in Athens, Greece, the companies within The Signal Group employ more than 100 individuals. The leadership group has a combined experience of more than 75 years in shipping and energy markets and is supported by a world-class team of strategists, market analysts, data scientists, and developers.
Signal launched The Signal Ocean Platform to the public in 2018 which has established market adoption in the crude spot vessels market. Signal also launched its first Aframax pool in September 2018
Top Industries active in: Software, Shipping and Oil and Gas.
Number of Investments: 12
10. Student Upstarts
Student Upstarts invests up to £15,000 in exchange for up to 8% equity in student teams to create and build businesses. The criteria is simple - one member of the team must be a full-time student at a UK or European higher education institute, or have graduated from one in the last 12 months. This applies to undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students. Student Upstarts was established in 2012 with the aim of investing in 100 Student businesses by the end of 2015. The motivation for this is the huge potential of the talent that they see in the UK’s universities together with the belief that with their investment, support and network Student Upstarts will discover the next generation of entrepreneurs who will become the UK’s business leaders and change the world.
Top Industries active in: E-Commerce, Internet and Service Industry.
Number of Investments: 8