What are the current Innovator visa endorsing bodies?
Please note that this list is not exhaustive and endorsing bodies may be added or removed. The current list, as released by the Home Office, is as follows:
o The Bakery are seeking to endorse legitimate entrepreneurs who qualify for one of
their four corporate innovation programmes.
Bethnal Green Ventures
o Bethnal Green Ventures are an early stage endorsing body in the technology sector,
who endorse start-up entrepreneurs who are accepted onto their support
o A body of connectors, investors, influencers and policy makers who collaborate to
scale Start-ups in London. They claim to only endorse founder within their
community however, this may change in the future.
o One of the world’s largest emerging cyber businesses, CyLon run a 3-month
accelerator and 1-week pre accelerator programmes. Applicants are welcome from
any company interest to help secure the digital economy. The deadline for the
accelerator programme is for early July.
Deep Science Ventures
o Deep Science Ventures is eyeing candidates who are from either an engineering or
scientist background, with aspirations to launch a deep science company
o Founder factory have over 60 operators willing to assist aspiring founders to grow
their company. Additionally, they offer enticing incubator and accelerator programs.
However, the endorsing body has yet to publish information of the requirements or
o Ignite provide both the Pre-Accelerator and Accelerator programme that are based
In the North East and Northern Ireland. They are looking to only endorse applicants
who are successful in applying for their accelerator programmes.
Invest Northern Ireland
o Northern Ireland’s regional business development agency are aiming to grow the
local economy while, endorsing entities for start-up/innovation visa participation on
its accelerator program.
o Based in Sheffield, Kollider recruitment is focused on digital and tech entrepreneurs.
They run an incubation program which offer additional mentorship, skills workshops
and opportunities for funding via, Seed Funding, Start-up Equity and Investor
Readiness. Information on the requirements and endorsement process have yet to
o Level 39 support emerging tech companies through, access to world-class
customers, talent and infrastructure. This organisation endorses people who are
involved in FinTech, smart cities, cyber security, retail tech and international
ambitious technology business.
o Mischon de Reya run an accelerator for technology start-ups in the legal sector.
MDR offer a programme where, they provide guidance. The application for their
programme is currently closed since February 2019.
o MedCity are currently operating within the life science sector including
biopharmaceuticals, therapeutics and medical devices are examples. Applicants
looking to be endorsed by MedCity, will require the successful applicant to relocate
to the South east of England or London.
NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator, Royal Bank of Scotland Entrepreneur Accelerator and
Ulsster Bank Entrepreneur Accelerator
o This collective of endorsing bodies all share a similar ideology for their accelerator
programmes. Applicants will have to fill in an application form through the
company’s website, where they must choose their ideal programme and preferred
o Scottish Edge is searching and supporting prospective individuals with
entrepreneurial talent based in Scotland. They run a competition which requires
applicants to complete an online application followed by, a three-minute video
presentation by the applicant. Scottish Edge are currently issuing endorsements as
we speak and are urging individuals who meet the criterion to apply.
o Seed Camp operate in Europe with their HQ based in London. They are identifying
and investing in world-class founders which attack the large global markets to solve
real problems by using technology. The company are only willing to offer
endorsements to companies they have invested in. Seed Camp has backed more
than 650 founders and will endorse founders in alternative sectors.
o A pre-seed tech accelerator, Seed Haus are investing in early-stage founders to build
start-ups across a variety of different industries. The application process has already
begun and can be accessed through the online portal on their website.
o Launched by the University of Bristol in 2002, SETSquared Bristol claim to only
endorse technology start-ups that have satisfied their incubator criterion and are,
keen to operate in offices located in Bristol. They offer an incubation programme
that is only available to technology start-ups. They also currently support over 80
innovative ventures and hope that individuals involved with their current ventures
are open to assistance and guidance to propel their company onto the market.
Startup Funding Club
o The Start-up Funding Club are an award-winning early stage investment organisation
in the UK who provide seed capital and support to upcoming start-ups. They offer
investors the discretion to invest directly or through seed funds. This organisation
has yet to specify information on their endorsement process or what is required of
o A well-recognised endorsing body for the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent and Promise
routes, Tech Nation are expanding now to be an endorsing body for Innovator and
Start-ups visa applicants. Tech Nation focuses on entrepreneur products by digital
technology business and are looking to start considering applications for digital
technology entrepreneurs around September 2019.
o Tech Stars currently have two accelerator programmes which are Tech Stars London
and Barclays Accelerator located in London. They typically find technology
companies which are usually web-based or software companies. However, Tech
Stars have stated they are willing to accept business who operate in different
sectors. The application process is open four times a year for twelve weeks. The
accelerator programme runs for 90 days where the individual will enjoy everyday
o Tech X provide their expert level support within the oil and gas industry for
accelerator and incubators in Start-up and Small/Medium Enterprises. Completion of
the application process is done through their website.
The Royal Society Edinburgh
o RSE are an educational charity who provide useful knowledge and advanced learning
socially, economically and culturally for Scotland. The endorsement they provide is
only for successful candidates that have received an RSE Enterprise Award. RSE
application process is open for applicants during Autumn and Spring each year.
o Since launching in 2012, Wayra have invested cash and business development
support to over 180 companies. They currently provide a diverse series of
programmes in industries such as:
AI & Blockchain
Digital Technology Intelligent
o Zinc, via their website are willing to endorse applicants for an appropriate UK Visa.
Zinc are looking to recruit founders who are ambitious, creative, innovative
commercially aware candidates that have the ability to get things done. They also
currently run a 9-month fulltime company builder programme.
How can NA Law help?
Choosing an endorsing body may be a difficult process, as there may be more prospective applicants than the number of endorsements offered by endorsing bodies. In addition, since the endorsing bodies have been given free reign to set their own requirements, you may be automatically excluded from some of the bodies, giving you less options to choose from.
If you are a prospective Innovator, get in touch for a free initial case assessment to go through your eligibility and legal options, including the best endorsing body to support your application. In addition, you may find the following pages useful: