Angels team launch pioneering “partner-for-life” accelerator

Jim Duffy
Jim Duffy

A trio of the UK’s top seed funding experts have combined to launch a “next generation” business accelerator, based in Glasgow.

Jim Duffy, founder of free business accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark, Bill Morrow, founder of online investment platform Angels Den, and Al Walker, founders of Colombian-based workspace sharing company Siembra Coworking have joined forces to create Moonshot Academy.

The expert team, who claim to have seeded more than £200 million in investment into companies through their other ventures, say their new project has been designed to provide top-level mentorship to help chosen businesses secure investment through its three-phase approach broken down into its ‘launchpad’, ‘orbit’ and eponymous, ‘moonshot’ stages.

With Moonshot Academy taking an option rather than equity in the firms it works with, it then begins the three-phase programme which will be initiated with the launchpad stage aiming to raise up to £150,000 seed investment for the aspiring firms while developing a clear business plan.

Then, the Orbit phase will aim to create a sound pre-scale up structure for the business while securing investment of up to £350,000.

Finally, the moonshot phase will target founders ready to scale-up their business, with the aim of raising more than £1 million and reach exit of the Moonshot Academy.

The founding trio said they want to work “with the most promising start-ups from ignition to fruition to make more millionaires” and provide a “partner-for-life approach”, an approach which will mean staying with each business until exit, something they claim is an industry first.

Mr Morrow explained: “We only profit once our partner businesses profit… it’s a win-win situation. Too many early-stage businesses across the UK are failing to secure investment, and don’t fully understand how to effectively pre-scale their company… that’s where we can help.”

Although the organisation will not have a physical presence, Moonshot Academy’s company address will be in Glasgow and offer 20 spaces for high-performing firms in the pre-scale-up stage, with a significant focus on London.

Mr Duffy said the accelerator “was founded to tackle the billion-dollar issue of companies failing to scale and optimise on return. Many businessbuilders have the potential to become millionaires and create something sustainable, but because they don’t know what they don’t know, the chances for many are slim to zero”.

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