Ignite Logo

Helping UK
entrepreneurs build better businesses

3-6 months of startup support and investment (currently for founders and businesses in the North East of England) from a global network of founders, mentors and investors.

Our Programmes

We’ve been running pre-accelerator and accelerator programmes around the UK since 2011. Ignite has accelerated and invested in 150+ businesses, mentoring and supporting hundreds more.


A funded, 6 month remote accelerator for MVP-stage founders or teams, looking to scale their business and potentially raise further investment.

The accelerator is only open to companies based, or with a material presence, in the North East (County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear). The programme is funded by The North East Innovation Fund, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and Accelerated Digital Ventures.

The accelerator is a 6 month remote programme that features £25,000 net (equity) investment, £100,000+ in programme perks with our partners (who include Amazon, Stripe, Revolut and many more), mentoring and startup support and much more.

The programme is remote three weeks a month, with the fourth week being an in-person event held in cities around the North East (one will be held in London) alongside our programme team, mentors and partners. Over the course of the 6 months, we’ll help you scale your business, define your routes to market, get you closer to product/ market fit and help you build your network(s).

Apply if: You are a founding team of two or more, working full-time on your technology startup, and need help scaling and potentially raising further investment.

To learn more about our programmes, offers and structure, take a look at the FAQ. You can also chat to the team by booking an Office Hours call.


A funded, 3 month pre-accelerator for idea-stage founders, or founders without an idea, looking to start working on the idea full-time.

Applications for the next pre-accelerator cohort will open Spring 2019. The pre-accelerator will only be open to founders or companies based in the North East (County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear).

The pre-accelerator is a 3 month full-time programme that helps entrepreneurs to develop their business idea, launch an MVP, get their first customers and figure out what to do next. You can read more about the programme on the Ignite blog. The programme is funded by The North East Innovation Fund, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

We are looking for entrepreneurs who want to solve (or already solving) real-world problems with innovative technology-led ideas. But if you’ve not got an idea but you think entrepreneurship is for you, or you’ve got a skill set that could lend itself to working on building a new business (especially within data and or ageing), we’d love to hear from you.

The pre-accelerator programme includes:

  • £10,000 net investment (structured as a convertible loan)
  • 3 month course covering product development, marketing, sales, operations, hiring and fundraising
  • Mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs, mentors and investors
  • 3 months of office space in Newcastle (with the potential for discounts post-programme)
  • A fast-track to the final interviews of next Ignite accelerator programme (in the following year).

Apply if: You have an idea and are thinking about how you’ll take it to the next level (or figure out if it’s really worth doing).

Tapping into the North East’s world-class expertise in both data and ageing, we are especially keen to talk to founders looking to work on ageing-related or data-driven issues!

How to Apply


1. Apply

The first step is to apply to join the Ignite programme.

Phone Interview

2. Call

If you meet our application criteria (read up on them in the FAQ), we’ll discuss your application with you over a coffee or call.

In-person interview

3. Interview

If the call goes well, you’ll be invited to an in-person interview with the Ignite team.


4. Offer

If you're successful, we'll invite you to join the Ignite programme.

Our Team

Headshot of Tristan Watson

Tristan Watson

Managing Director

Headshot of Gabi

Gabriela Matic

Programme Director

Headshot of Wil

Wil Benton

Programme Director

Headshot of Bailey

Bailey Kursar

Entrepreneur in Residence

Headshot of Jasper

Jasper Lyons

Entrepreneur in Residence