Baltic Ventures accelerator opens to applications from ambitious tech founders

Applications for a new northern-based accelerator, Baltic Ventures, have officially opened for early-stage tech companies to apply for their first programme, ‘Accelerator 2023‘. Each successful applicant will receive equity backing and access to unrivalled expert mentoring.

In 2022, Beauhurst found that 50% of announced equity deals and 69% of investment was deployed in London-based tech companies, while the Northwest secured only 6%. Made possible by a £4.1m investment from Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, over the next five years, Baltic Ventures aims to create a platform and community to support tech companies to access angel and VC investment without needing to relocate to London.

The 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 that includes mentoring, masterclasses and networking with investors who have the potential to 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 who 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 of Living Lens, a video technology company focusing on the market research and customer experience sectors, which was acquired by Silicon Valley-based MedaIlia in Feb 2020 for $26m.

In addition, Mo Aldalou, previously of Tech Nation, joins as programme director, deploying 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, aimed at helping them to avoid common startup pitfalls and master the key principles needed to succeed as a founder.

Baltic Ventures is placing a strong focus on founding teams from diverse backgrounds and founder well-being to challenge the traditional stereotypes of ‘the burnt-out tech leader’ and combat stressful workplaces by offering sessions and guidance on how to grow healthy and sustainable companies as founders. The accelerator will be delivered in-person emphasising Baltic Venture’s commitment to nurturing a connected and collaborative community.

Claire Lewis, CEO 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.”

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “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.

“Baltic Ventures will help us identify and unlock the potential of early-stage companies and back them with the equity and mentoring they need to succeed. There’s no reason our area shouldn’t one day be able to stake its claim as a Silicon Valley of the North – and attract the many thousands of jobs and training opportunities it will create in a key industry of the future. If anywhere is capable of it, it’s the Liverpool City Region.”

Mo Aldalou, Programme Director, said: “Having engaged with and supported hundreds of founders over the last five years, I’ve seen first-hand that great founders can come from anywhere and be anyone. We operate from the Liverpool City Region, but we are looking for ambitious founders from across the UK and the world while playing our part in establishing LCR as a global tech destination.

“Being a founder can be lonely and challenging and the scaling journey is not without its pitfalls – but having access to a network of peers, coaches, mentors, investors and later-stage founders can be transformational to a company’s growth trajectory. We’re incredibly excited to launch applications to Accelerator 2023 and I look forward to working closely with our first cohort.”

Applications close in June 2023, with Accelerator 2023 starting in September.