The UK's top pre-seed accelerator - backed by the best angel investor network in Europe.

We’re not like other accelerator programmes. Really, we’re not.

For instance, teams are more likely to raise more investment with Ignite. Startups from our first three cohort have raised over £10 million – compared to other accelerators focussing on pre-seed teams, Ignite is the top programme in the UK.

You don’t need to be a seasoned entrepreneur or a former Googler. You don’t need to have raised a seed round or proved your point just yet. We want to work with smart teams with interesting ideas, and we recognise they come in all shapes and sizes.

We offer £18,000 ($30,000) per team in return for 8% equity (read our FAQs to find out exactly how our deal works). We’ll provide you with workspace for four months, and you can take advantage of our ongoing incubator programme.

We’ve the support of amazing mentors, specialists, angel investors and VCs, as well as an alumni network like no other. Teams can also take advantage of follow-on seed funding from our angels and VC investors, and meet US investors as part of our East Coast activity.

Applications for our Spring 2015 programme are open now. Read our FAQ or apply now.

Apply Today

The home of startups in the North of England

Campus North is our new 10,000 sq ft venue dedicated to technology startups – already home to 100 founders, developers and designers, as well as hosting local tech meetups and educational workshops.

Campus residents can take advantage of our ongoing incubator programme, offering exclusive events and Office Hours, as well as work from partner venues across the UK. Want to join us?

Find out more

"...if you're passionate about something and you're driven and you're focused, then you can pretty much do anything that you want to do in life."— Dave Grohl.


Several of our partners are based in Newcastle and the UK; others stretch around the world. All are committed to supporting the vision of early-stage technology startups.



The law firm that gets stuff done. We help clever people take brilliant ideas from the drawing-board to the marketplace.


European Union

Investing in your future – European Regional Development Fund.



Use standard web languages to build voice, VoIP and SMS applications via a web API.


Performance Horizon Group

The premium, global performance marketing platform.



Email delivery. Simplified.


Northstar Ventures

Dedicated to building successful high growth businesses across the North East of England.

"If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, it’s too large.”
– Jeff Bezos, Amazon

About Ignite

Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne – a lively, diverse, cosmopolitan city and one of the UK’s strongest tech clusters outside the capital – and with operations in London and NYC, Ignite operates one of Europe’s top accelerator programmes as well as one of the largest venues dedicated to early-stage technology startups.

Founded in 2011 by Colin Willis (Hotspur Capital), Jon Bradford (Techstars) and Paul Smith, Ignite was expected to be a one-off, three month programme. Instead, the city’s appetite for technology and collaboration saw Ignite grow into an independent co-working space and venue.

As Newcastle’s ambition grew, so did we. Two years later, Ignite launched a Community Fund to help improve the quality and quantity of Newcastle and Gateshead-based tech meetups, and became the regional coordinators for national educational charity CodeClub. This year, Campus North opened its doors – a new home for over 150 founders, developers and designers.

Ignite is now the UK’s top pre-seed accelerator programme; early-stage teams are more likely to raise more investment with us. Startups from our first three cohort have raised over £10 million – compared to other accelerators focussing on pre-seed teams, Ignite is the top programme in the UK.

Ignite is funded primarily through commercial activity, but previously raised investment from Northstar Ventures in 2013 through the FBNE Accelerator Fund, managed by North East Finance as part of the £125m FBNE programme. That programme was made possible through funding from the European Regional Development Fund 2007-2013 and the European Investment Bank.


We've founded businesses, raised investment, created apps, launched products, been knocked down, got back up. We’ve walked a mile in plenty of shoes. Collectively, we've worked on more accelerator programmes than anyone else in Europe.


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Contact us via email to discuss your application for the Ignite accelerator programme, Campus North membership or venue hire. Alternatively, you can also find us on Twitter.

  • Email
  • Address Campus North, Sunco House, 5 Carliol Square, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6UF
North East Finance