Frequently Asked Questions
What is Oxygen Accelerator?
Oxygen Accelerator is a technology accelerator. It is a full-time 13-week bootcamp that combines investment with intensive mentoring and training. We also offer a further 13-weeks of less intensive incubation to allow teams to complete their investment rounds.
13- Week Incubator
How much funding do Oxygen Accelerator startups get?
You will receive up to €21,000 for the acceleration phase of the programme. €7,000 per founder (capped at 3 founders)
In exchange for the programme, pre-seed funding, advice, mentorship, connections, and investor demo days, Oxygen Accelerator receives a 8% equity stake in your new company.
Teams receive a further 13-weeks of incubation with Oxygen. We continue to provide you office space and support. Our primary aim during this period is to help you close your investment round.
Do I have to pay back the pre-seed funding?
No, it is a straight up equity investment.
What sorts of companies do you fund?
We fund web technology companies. Typically these are web-based or other software companies, but we’ve funded companies that don’t quite fit that mould as well. We’re also looking for companies that can have international reach. If your company is web 2.0, Software As A Service, cloud based, mobile applications, digital games or a web service, then we are interested. If you are not sure, drop us an email telling us who you are firstname.lastname@example.org. Or look at previous Oxygen startups here
Who is behind Oxygen Accelerator?
Mark Hales – an angel investor and experienced Entrepreneur who provides business advice to private companies, helping them build and realise value over the long-term – in partnership with Simon Jenner.
Can I apply if I’m not from the UK?
Yes. Anyone can apply to the Oxygen Accelerator from anywhere in the world, as long as you and your team can work in the UK legally for the duration of the programme. If you are from outside Europe look at the Prospective Entrepreneurs visa which gives you 6-months in the Country to find £50k of investment.
Where will we live while we’re in Birmingham?
It is your responsibility to find your own accommodation in Birmingham, however we will do what we can to help. Our experience is that the minimum contract length you will be able to sign with a landlord in Birmingham is 6-months. See more information about Birmingham here.
I’m a single founder. Can I still apply for Oxygen Accelerator, or do you only look for teams?
While we don’t screen applications just because they have a single founder, it does make things more difficult. We look for great, balanced teams who have a full range of skills. We strongly advise you to seek co-founders who balance your skillset. For example, if you’re a strong developer, you might consider adding someone with business and/or marketing experience. If you’re a great business evangelist with no developer, go and find a developer to join you. We recommend attending Launch48 Weekend to help you find co-founders.
Do I have to be there for the entire programme?
Yes. You must be based in Birmingham for the entire programme (13 weeks), as the programme is incredibly intensive and we believe it is essential to focus entirely on your startup for the duration of the programme. Please plan to arrive a week before the programme starts to allow yourself time to settle into the accommodation and find your way around the city. Also note it can take anywhere between 3 & 6 months after the programme has finished to close your investment round, so you should plan to be in Birmingham for 6-months.
Do I need to provide a full business plan with financials?
No, just complete our short on-line application form and upload a pitch video.
When is the deadline to apply and what’s the overall time-line?
Check out the schedule for dates.
Where is the Oxygen Accelerator office and what’s it like?
We are based in the centre of Birmingham, UK. Birmingham is the UK’s 2nd city and located 100 miles (160km) North West of London. Oxygen Accelerator is fully equipped and has both traditional office space and chill out space.
What is provided in the office?
We provide a desk, chair & an internet connection. We suggest you bring your own printer/scanner and stationary for your team.
Will it be hard work?
Of course, this is a 13 week intensive boot camp, it’s your company so you set your own schedule and office hours, although we’ll be working really hard for you and we’ll expect you to work hard too.
I’m concerned about my Intellectual Property. Should I be?
We won’t show your application to anyone outside of Oxygen Accelerator. We see hundreds of applications and many of them include similar ideas. For this and other practical reasons, please don’t ask us to sign an NDA. Our application does not ask for your “secret sauce” and there is no reason for you to disclose this to us if you’re not comfortable doing so. We want to be running Oxygen Accelerator for years to come and we can only achieve that if we have the trust of the tech community so it is not in our interest to release any of your IP.
We’ve already taken some funding. Can we still apply?
Can we do it without moving to where you are?
No. This is a tried and tested model and only works if you are here for the duration of the programme.
Can you get us visas?
No, sorry, we can’t do that for you. But we will help where we can. Visit this Government site for more information about obtaining a ‘prospective entrepreneur’ visitors visa, or contact us if you still have questions.
Do we have to start a company in the UK for you to invest in us?
Yes, but that’s usually not a problem. It’s easy for foreign nationals to start companies in the UK and investors prefer them. Getting a UK bank account is usually the harder thing and can take some time.
Do we have to have a passport?
Yes, in order to open a UK business bank account you will need a passport. A national Identity card may get you into the UK but it will not be enough to open a bank account here.
How much investment will be raised at the end of the programme?
While we can’t guarantee any investment for your company at the end of the programme we will seek to understand your next stage funding requirements and get you in front of over 100 potential investors. It is in our interest to ensure you get follow on funding so we will do everything we can to help. Typically Oxygen startups look to raise anywhere between £100,000 & £300,000.
What happens after the 13 weeks?
Your team has the office space for a further 13-weeks (incubation) after graduation so you have plenty of time to make plans. Most Accelerators do not provide this but we feel it is essential you are not just dropped and left on your own. We will continue to provide you support for as long as you need it.
What do you define a founder as?
A founder is a person who is currently or going to be an equity partner in the business. So in order to get the € per founder each founder must also be an equity holder.
How far will our money stretch in Birmingham?
One of the great things about building a startup in Birmingham is it is a lot cheaper than most European cities, your cash will go a lot further than somewhere like London. Here are some estimates for a team of 2 founders:
One off costs:
Passport to export for tech mission €640
Company setup fee & legals €640
Accommodation & Utilities – £700 – £800 per month (£2,100 – £2,400)
Food & Drink – £200 per month (£600)
Travel – £75 (£225)
Total = £1075 per month (€1300)
= €7,800 for 6-months
Total = €9080
We recommend budgeting for surviving 6- 7 months to allow some time before the programme starts and some time afterwards.
What publicity requirements are there for the programme?
All teams should display the Made @ Oxygen Accelerator on their Company Websites about us page. Oxygen Accelerator should be mentioned in any press releases or publicity during and up to 12-months after the programme i.e. “Oxygen Accelerator 2013 backed Company X signs £1,000,000 investment deal with huge Venture Capital company Y”.