What Seed Funding Competitions are available for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

Under the £200,000 financial requirement, the funds may either be owned by the applicant or by a third party. Note that the third party must sign a declaration that the money is accessible by the entrepreneur in the UK. Also, anyone, irrespective of whether or not they have been in the UK can apply by meeting the £200,000 financial requirement. Under the £50,000 financial requirement however, different sets of rules apply. Applicants can only be using this route if: –

  1. They have successfully completed a course of study in a UK tertiary educational institution and have been endorsed the UK tertiary educational institution as having a good and special business idea. Here, the university accepts to sponsor the student under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur scheme.
  2. They have secured seed funding from a Seed funding competition endorsed by the Department of Trade.
  3. That have secured seed funding from a venture capitalist firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
  4. They have already invested at least £50,000 in a UK business 12 months before the date of application.

The Home Office recognizes several major seed funding competitions that have been endorsed by the UK Department of Trade and Investment (UKTI). Some of which include:

  • Seedcamp
  • Entrepreneur First
  • Founders Factory Accelerator
  • Tech stars
  • Pi Lab
  • Emerge Education
  • Oxygen Accelerator
  • Wayra UK

Seedcamp: – Seedcamp’s offers three options for investment: –

  1. €75,000 for 7% equity – The Structured Equity deal.
  2. 3% as a Warrant
  3. €200,000 in Seed investment

Please visit their website http://seedcamp.com/ for more details

Entrepreneur first – This is a tech startup seed funding competition aimed at engineers and computer scientists who have strong business ideas in the tech industry.  Their program is a 6 month intensive bootcamp followed by an 18 months general support for the business idea. They run their program in both London and Singapore. Find out more on their website https://www.joinef.com/

Founders Factory Accelerator – This is also another tech startup seed funding competition. Their offer is in two folds. Accelerator and Incubator. The accelerator option is designed for tech entrepreneurs who are in the beginning stage of their business idea. If selected, they will normally be invited for a 6 months bootcamp to network and grow their business idea. The next option is the Incubator. Here products are built from the scratch along with their in-house business growth hackers and business development experts. Visit their website for more information https://foundersfactory.com/

Tech Stars – Generally acclaimed to be the most competitor mentor program in the world. They position themselves as a global eco system that helps entrepreneurs and build great businesses. Every year, the company announce what industries or sectors they will be focusing on; and this year, the focus is on digital health and sensor technology. See more on the website http://www.techstars.com/

Pi Lab – Pi Lab is a property Tech Venture Capitalist firm. Their offer is similar to SeedCamp’s: –

  1. Accelerator Investment of up to £100,000
  2. 5% accelerator warrant
  3. Seed investment of up to £2m

Website: – http://pilabs.co.uk

Emerge Education – Emerge education offers an accelerator program of a 3 month bootcamp for individuals looking to improve educational outcomes. They welcome edtech startups at any stage of the business development. View more here – http://emerge.education/

Oxygen Accelerator – They are also a tech startup. They offer €21,000 per team in exchange for 8% equity. They have a 13 week intensive bootcamp program as part of the package. Click here to go to their website http://www.oxygenaccelerator.com/

Wayra – They offer venture capitalist funding of up to £34,000. Importantly, they are not restricted to the tech industry like the others. Click here to go to their website

City Legal Services is a specialist Immigration Law firm and we can help with any part of the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa application. We do not assist you with securing funds but can suggest to you what venture capitalist firms or competition are available and endorsed by the UKTI.

Contact us on 020 3695 4626 if you need help with your entrepreneur visa application.

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