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
Who is behind Oxygen Accelerator?
See details of the Accelerator team here.
When is the next programme?
See the schedule to see when the next programme is.
How much Pre-Seed investment do Oxygen Accelerator startups get?
You will receive up to £18,000 of founders investment, £6,000 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 company.
Teams receive a further 13-weeks of incubation with Oxygen. Our primary aim during this period is to help you close your investment round.
Do you take programme fees from teams?
Yes, we invest £15,000 (2014) of additional investment on top of the founders investment into your startup. We then invoice the team £15,000 + VAT for programme fees. Total investment for a 2 founder team is £27k, for a team with 3 founders or more the total investment would be £32k. Please note this does not cost you anything.
Does the investment use any of our SEIS allowance?
Yes, Oxygen investment is SEIS and will use some of your £150,000 SEIS allowance. A 2 founder team would use £27k SEIS & a 3 founder would use £32k. This still leaves plenty of SEIS available for next round investors.
How much equity do you take?
If we have already had investment can we negotiate equity?
For startups who have already received £100k (€120k) of equity investment then we offer the same terms but for 4% equity.
Do I have to pay back the investment?
No, it is a straight up equity investment.
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 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 & £500,000.
Can we negotiate the equity taken?
No, its fixed.
What valuation does your investment give our startup?
Valuations on this type of accelerator investment are meaningless because most of the value of an accelerator is in the programme and not the money invested. Follow on investors understand this and don’t care about valuations from accelerators. That said we have never had a graduated startup who have had a lower valuation after graduation. Our typical startups on graduation has a valuation of £1m.
Can we negotiate the investment terms?
No, its the same terms (shareholders agreement) for all startups
How many investors will I have from Oxygen?
Each team will have a bunch of Oxygen Angel investors. Some of those investors can be found here on our current investors page.
What sorts of companies do you select?
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
We don’t currently accept not for profit startups.
Is there any legal costs for the investment?
Yes, our lawyers provide a reduced cost of £500+ VAT for entering into the Oxygen Pre-Seed investment agreement. We invoice this to the teams on completion of the legals (typically in week 2).
Can we raise investment during the accelerator programme?
We have had teams do this before during programme and have supported them. However, we find the team looses massive amounts of time and focus and it has significant impact on their ability to execute. While we would not stop a team from raising during the programme we do not recommend it.
How do we pay ourselves?
You can take money out of your business to cover your living costs. We recommend you take some out as business expenses and some out as salary. Your salary will be below the tax threshold in the UK so you will not have to pay any tax on any of this. Our accountants will help and advise you on how to set this up and record the details.
I’m a single founder. Can I still apply for Oxygen Accelerator?
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 when the Ltd company is created (prior to programme start or in week 1). So in order to get the € per founder each founder must also be an equity holder. We prefer founders to be equal or near equal equity partners.
We have outsourced our development is that ok?
Outsourcing your development is fine for building a prototype but doesn’t work in the long run for a startup. It is particularly difficult to use an outsourced development company while you are on an accelerator. The speed at which you need to iterate your product means that rarely does your outsourcer keep pace with you and the hours you are working. The number of iterations you will be requesting also has a significant cost impact with an outsourcer that will stretch budgets. Lastly an outsourcer will do as you ask but will not provide you with technical leadership like a CTO would, technical leadership is critical with a tech startup. We highly recommend finding a tech co-founder.
What is included in the programme?
Take a look at the programme structure to see what is included.
Will we have time to develop the product while we are on the accelerator?
Yes, we are split 50/50 between learning & support activity and product development. Of the 65 working days of the accelerator you have 35 days of product development time not including the 26 weekend days. So plenty of time to build on the product during the accelerator.
Do I have to be there for the entire programme?
Yes. You must be based with us 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 around for at least 6-months.
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. We are a Points-based system entrepreneur visa – UKTI recognised seed competition. We have also partnered with Migreat, a tool that can help you find the easiest way to enter the UK.
Where will we live while we’re on the programme?
It is your responsibility to find your own accommodation, 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 is 6-months.
Do I need to provide a full business plan with financials?
No, just complete our short on-line application form.
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?
You can see details of the office space here
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?
Yes, many of our teams have already received investment when they 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.
We have partnered with Migreat.com to provide you with assistance on getting the right visa easily sorted. Migreat.com is like Skyscanner for immigration. In a few clicks, their visa tool will give you an idea of the visa you are eligible for and a to-do list of documents for you to come on board. Migreat has online contacts for a great number of immigration lawyers, for all types of budget and visa. If you are confused by the application documents, you can ask their immigration experts for a little help. The platform is all free to use and you can ask them to refer you to an expert to do your visa application directly on the platform – though this will come with a fee.
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. We will help you with all of this in week 1.
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 business bank account here.
What happens after the 13 weeks?
We will continue to provide you support for as long as you need it. You join our alumni programme automatically.
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”.
Do you have a recommended reading list?
Yes we do read these books before starting on Oxygen.- Oxygen’s recommended reading list
We are a hardware startup do you provide makers space?
We don’t but in both cities we run the accelerator there are plenty of facilities available:
London – Hack space
Birmingham – fizzPop
How much does it cost to live while we are on the accelerator?
These are estimated costs
London – per month
Travel – £130 (tube travel)
Food – £400
Birmingham – per month
Travel -£0 (walk)
Food – £400