International cable company, Liberty Global, has announced its partnership with technology accelerator Techstars to form London-based, Virgin Media Accelerator, to support innovative digital start-ups.
The three months Virgin Media Accelerator Program is inviting applications from startups involved in (i) the Internet of Things, (ii) telecom infrastructure, (iii) customer data and experience, (iv) social enterprise, (v) connected homes, (vi) connected goods and services, (vii) interactive home experiences, (viii) home health and wellness, (ix) connectivity for social good and (x) connected business services.
The new program extends Liberty Global’s existing programs in two of its key markets: the “Telenet Kickstart, powered by Idealabs” accelerator in Belgium and Virgin Media’s “Pitch to Rich” program in the UK.
Applicants can apply online before the deadline on January 9, 2016.
Ten start-ups will be chosen to take part in the program, which will involve an intense, 13-week mentorship and guidance program. This will give the start-ups access to senior leadership from Liberty Global and Virgin Media, as well as Techstars’ global network of more than 7,000 founders, mentors, investors and corporate partners.
The ten startups, on successful completion of the program, will take part in a “Demo Day” in London in June 2016.
David Cohen, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Techstars, said, “New technologies enabled by improved networking and connectivity have become critical in all aspects of our personal and professional lives. Techstars is excited to partner with Liberty Global and Virgin Media, two worldwide leaders in this space, to bring a new, connectivity focused accelerator program to startups worldwide.”
Techstars, according to the Virgin Media Accelerator Program prospectus, will invest up to $120,000 in the business – for up to 10% of the startup’s equity.
On his turn, Bruce Dines, Vice President, Liberty Global Ventures, said, “Innovation and the infinite possibilities offered by a connected world lie at the very heart of our business, which is why we’re proud to partner with Techstars to launch the first ever Virgin Media Accelerator Program. This program offers an opportunity for all kinds of companies – we are interested in driving innovation, convenience and social well-being across our consumer and business connected world. We encourage all interested companies to apply to this program and look forward to working with the best start-ups in the world to help them bring their brilliant ideas to life.”
Liberty Global’s consumer brands include Virgin Media, Ziggo, Unitymedia, Telenet, UPC, VTR and Liberty. Its operations also include Liberty Global Business Services and Liberty Global Ventures.