Are you 24 or under? Do you have a great idea? Join our Young Entrepreneurs Pre-Accelerator.

Tech for Life in partnership with the Sage Foundation and Ignite are pleased to announce our Young Entrepreneurs Pre-Accelerator!

This year Ignite have run pre-accelerator programmes in Croydon, Manchester & Sheffield — helping more than 50 founders to develop their business ideas, and now in partnership with them and the Sage Foundation we are launching applications for our Young Entrepreneurs Pre-Accelerator starting on 13th November 2017.

What is it?

The pre-accelerator is a 5-week part-time programme that helps founders and entrepreneurs to develop their digital business idea, launch an MVP, get their first customers and figure out what to do next.

The sessions will be held once a week, 4–7pm at Campus North, and will be led by the Ignite team with guest appearances from successful founders and investors, alongside mentors from Sage, to share their experience and knowledge.

Week 1: Customer Conversations & Idea Validation

You’ve got a great idea, and you just know that as soon as you’ve built the app/website/product you’ll have people flocking to use it, right?

Well unfortunately it doesn’t usually work out like that. No matter how beautiful your product is, if it doesn’t solve a real problem for people then no one is going to care.

We’ll show you how to find out the real problems that your customers/users have, and how you can use that information to build something that they’ll absolutely love.

Week 2: Building An MVP

When you’re just starting out you never have all the resources you want to build the dream product that’s in your head. That’s a good thing though as it forces you to be creative about how you’re going to solve the problem you’re focused on.

To make this easier we’ve got some great tools that we can share with you that will help anyone (even completely non-technical founders) to build an MVP, get users interacting with it and see if it’s worth spending more time developing.

Week 3: Spreading The Word

You’ve identified the problem, you’ve built the perfect MVP. Now all you need are some users.

But I’ve got some bad news, Kevin Costner was lying to you. Users won’t flock to your service as soon as you launch, in fact to begin with it probably will feel exactly like you’re stood in the middle of a corn field, all on your own.

There are some great tricks you can use though, and with Ignite helping to launch over 100 companies, they know quite a few of them. From the art of direct sales for B2B startups to how B2C apps can best use FB ads we’ll help you find the most cost effective way to get your first users.

Week 4: Time for liftoff

Idea? Check. MVP? Check. Users? Check. Houston we are ready for takeoff…

So what’s next? Do you want to raise investment, join an accelerator or bootstrap your way to £1m ARR?

You’ll learn everything you need to know about each of the options directly from founders and investors and we’ll help you develop your pitch, ready for week 5’s showcase event…

Week 5: It’s your time to shine! Hello Showcase Event!

After four weeks of hard work and graft, it’s your time to be in the spotlight and share details of your journey and business with others. We’ll be throwing a Young Entrepreneurs Showcase event to celebrate what you’ve been up to. It’s a perfect chance to pitch your business to an audience of folk from across the North East startup and digital scene.

Who’s it for?

We’re looking for fifteen ambitious founders (or groups of founders) who have an idea that they’re passionate about, and that need help in taking it to the next level. As long as there’s a digital element, we want to know about it!

You don’t have to have an MBA, or be a coding whizz to join us — just a passion to solve a problem and the determination to make it happen. We’ll help you with the rest.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve already launched an MVP, or even got your first customer — we’re here to help you accelerate your progress and you’ll come out with a better understanding of your customers and how to build something they love.

Tell us why you think this problem is important to solve, and why you are the people to do it and we’ll pick the ones that get most excited.

Why are we doing this?

We love ideas, but what we love even more is helping turn them into reality.

As founders ourselves we have been in the same situation as you are — a notebook full of great ideas but just not sure how to take that first step. This is the programme we wish had existed when we were first starting out.

How much does it cost?

Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

How do I get involved?

Fill in the application form and upload a 60 second application video explaining why you should be part of the programme before Midnight on Wednesday 25th October. We’ll be in touch to let you know if you’ve got a place!

Apply Now!

I’ve got more questions!

Email us at or tweet us @techforlifeuk