What are the current Start-up endorsing bodies?
Please note that the list is not exhaustive and that new endorsing bodies may be added or removed.
Current Start-up visa endorsing bodies – Business endorsing bodies
The Bakery are seeking to endorse legitimate entrepreneurs who qualify for one of their four corporate innovation programmes.
- Start programme
- Accelerate programme
- Partner programme
- Investor programme
Bethnal Green Ventures
Bethnal Green Ventures are an early stage endorsing body in the technology sector, who endorse start-up entrepreneurs who are accepted onto their support programmes.
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.
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
Deep Science Ventures is eyeing candidates who are from either an engineering or scientist background, with aspirations to launch a deep science company
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 endorsement process.
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
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.
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 be confirmed.
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.
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.
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
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 location.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 an applicant.
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.
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 mentorship.
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
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.
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
- Cyber Security
- Digital Technology Intelligent
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 full-time company builder programme.
Current Start-up visa endorsing bodies – Higher Education Institution (HEI) endorsing bodies
- Anglia Ruskin University
Applications are welcome from ARU students. We regret non-ARU students cannot be considered.
- Arts University Bournemouth
Endorsing business in the creative arts industries.
- Aston University
For those who have completed a course of study at Aston University in the last 5 years and have had a business idea accepted by BSEEN.
- Bangor University
Bangor University only endorses Bangor Graduates on this visa and they must have graduated within 12 months preceding the application.
- Bath Spa University
Bath Spa University will only accept endorsement applications from Bath Spa students and our recent graduates (up to 2 years).
- Birmingham City University
- Bournemouth University
Supporting BU international alumni start-ups and innovators across the UK, and exceptional UK HEI international graduates looking to start businesses in Wessex.
- BPP University Limited
BPP University will only endorse its own graduates in the Start-up route. We will not endorse external candidates or in the Innovator route.
- Brunel University London
Brunel University will only endorse its graduates in the Start-up route. We will not endorse external candidates or in the Innovator route.
- Cardiff Metropolitan University
Our International Entrepreneurs Programme runs intensively for 6 months from the Centre for Entrepreneurship incubator and includes workshops, mentoring, office space and general support. Cardiff Metropolitan University is currently endorsing its own students and graduates only.
- Cardiff University
Cardiff University are only able to consider endorsement requests from our graduate students or any of our students who have completed their studies and are approaching their graduation date
- City, University of London
- Contemporary Dance Trust
- Coventry University
Open to Coventry University graduates only.
- Cranfield University
Supporting entrepreneurs every step of their journey. We accept applications form students and alumni of Cranfield.
- De Montfort University
- Durham University
Providing opportunities for Start-up Visa endorsement to eligible graduating students and graduates of Durham University.
- Edinburgh Napier University
- Falmouth University School of Entrepreneurship
Creating a unique environment to build sustainable businesses with high growth potential in one of the UK’s leading creative tech hubs.
- Florida State University International Programs Association UK
Florida State University London accepts applications for Start-up visa endorsements only from graduates of FSU or US Universities with whom we have existing affiliations
- Girne American University Canterbury
- Glasgow Caledonian University
- Goldsmiths University of London
- Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs is an incubator to help people in the performing arts launch and advance their own enterprises. Guildhall School will only endorse graduates from Guildhall School.
- Heriot-Watt University
- Hult International Business School
- Imperial College London
- Keele University
Keele Business School Smart Innovation Hub, and the Research & Innovation Support Programme will support selected Keele students and alumni.
- King’s College London
The Entrepreneurship Institute at King’s College London will support Start-up visas that meet UKVI criteria from current and former King’s students.
- Kingston University
- Lancaster University
- Leeds Arts University
- Leeds Beckett University
- Liverpool John Moores University
- London Business School
We accept applications from students and alumni, as well as co-founders working with LBS students or alumni.
- London Metropolitan University
- London School of Economics and Political Sciences
For LSE students – with the exception of non-LSE applicants who are key members of an LSE team only.
- London South Bank University
LSBU can only endorse applicants who have graduated from LSBU within the last 2 years and have not started a business in the UK before.
- Loughborough University
Endorsing body for Loughborough University graduates. Contact the Loughborough Enterprise Network for further information.
- Manchester Metropolitan University
- Middlesex University
- Newcastle University
Newcastle University will only endorse graduates from Newcastle University: we will consider applications from graduating students and recent graduates (up to 3 years).
- Northern School of Contemporary Dance
- Norwich University of the Arts
- Nottingham Trent University
Only open to students and recent graduates (within the immediate 2 years preceding date of application) of Nottingham Trent University.
- Oxford Brookes University
- Plymouth College of Art
- Queen Mary University of London
Open to Queen Mary University of London graduates only
- Queen’s University Belfast
We only accept applications for endorsement from Queen’s graduates and applicants must have completed a degree within the last 12 months.
- Ravensbourne University London
- Regent’s University London
- Roehampton University
- Royal Academy of Music
- Royal Agricultural University
- Royal College of Art
- Royal Holloway and Bedford New College
- Sheffield Hallam University
- SOAS, University of London
- Solent University
- Swansea University
- Teesside University
- The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
- The Robert Gordon University
- The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
Central will only accept endorsement applications from our current students and our alumni (within two years of completing studies).
- The University of Buckingham
- The University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh endorses Start-up applicants who have a close demonstrable relationship with our institution (students and alumni).
- The University of Northampton
- The University of Salford
- The University of West London
- University College London
UCL will only consider applicants who have graduated from UCL in the last 12 months. Please follow this link for further information.
- University for the Creative Arts
- University of Aberdeen
- University of Bath
- University of Birmingham
- University of Bradford
- University of Brighton
- University of Bristol
- University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge considers endorsement for those who are graduating or have graduated from The University of Cambridge
- University of Central Lancashire
- University of Chester
The University of Chester will only endorse start-up applications from Chester students who graduate in the same academic year and who possess an outstanding, genuine and credible business idea in line with the University’s criteria.
- University of Dundee
- University of East Anglia
- University of East London
We only accept applications from UEL Students or Graduates. Our programme is competitive with limited endorsements therefore align your application to the criteria.
- University of Essex
- University of Exeter
The University of Exeter will only consider endorsements for students and graduates of the University who engaged with entrepreneurship activity during their studies.
- University of Glasgow
- University of Greenwich
Endorsements allocated via the annual Enterprise Challenge, run by the university’s i3 Centre. Open to graduates of the university only.
- University of Hertfordshire Higher Education Corporation
- University of Huddersfield
- University of Hull
- University of Kent
- University of Leeds
- University of Leicester
- University of Lincoln
- University of Liverpool
The University of Liverpool will only endorse students who graduate from the University of Liverpool within the same academic year.
- University of Manchester
Only graduates of the University of Manchester will be considered for endorsement
- University of Northumbria at Newcastle
- University of Nottingham
- University of Oxford
- University of Plymouth
- University of Portsmouth
To apply for endorsement applicants must be students or graduates (up to 5 years) from the University of Portsmouth.
- University of Reading
- University of Sheffield
Endorsement only available to those who have or will have graduated from the University of Sheffield.
- University of South Wales
- University of Southampton
- University of St Andrews
- University of Stirling
- University of Strathclyde
- University of Sunderland
The University of Sunderland’s Enterprise Place offers Start Up support, 1-1 business advice, structured workshops and networking opportunities.
- University of Surrey
External start-ups must meet SETsquared Surrey incubator criteria and adhere to the incubator membership for the endorsement duration.
- University of Sussex
- University of the Arts London
UAL offers endorsement exclusively to UAL graduates within 2 years of graduating. The scheme is delivered by Careers & Employability.
- University of the West of England
Launch Space provides physical incubator space and enterprise support for graduate start-up businesses at UWE.
- University of the West of Scotland
The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) will endorse current students or recent graduates who demonstrate an innovative business idea and entrepreneurial mind-set.
- University of Ulster
- University of Wales Trinity Saint David – Carmarthen Campus
- University of Warwick
We will consider applications from Warwick graduates with a viable business idea that they wish to start in the UK.
- University of Westminster
- University of Wolverhampton
- University of York
- York St John University
For a further list of endorsing bodies click here.
How can NA Law help you?
Picking an ideal endorsing body to approach is essential as it is likely to streamline the entire process if you meet the endorsing body’s requirements from the very start. Due to the fact that all bodies have the freedom to choose their own requirements, you may be left with fewer options to choose from than you initially thought.
If you are interested in applying for the Start-up visa and you think one or more endorsing body may be suitable for you, get in touch for a initial case assessment. We will go through your eligibility and all legal options including determining which endorsing body is right for you. In addition, you may find the following pages useful: