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What Seed Funding Competitions can I partake in for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route can be accessed by either access to £200,000 or £50,000. The differentiating factor between the two is the source of funds and current visa status.

Under the £200,000 financial requirement, the funds may either be owned by the applicant or by a third party. Note that the third party must sign a declaration that the money is accessible by the entrepreneur in the UK.

Also, anyone, irrespective of whether or not they have been in the UK can apply by meeting the £200,000 financial requirement.

Under the £50,000 financial requirement, however, different sets of rules apply. Applicants can only use this route if: -

  1. They have successfully completed a course of study in a UK tertiary educational institution and have been endorsed by the UK tertiary educational institution as having a good and special business idea. Here, the university accepts to sponsor the student under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur scheme. Click here to read more about the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa
  2. They have secured funding from a Seed funding competition endorsed by the Department of Trade.
  3. That has secured seed funding from a venture capitalist firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
  4. They have already invested at least £50,000 in a UK business 12 months before the date of application.

The Home Office recognizes several major seed funding competitions that have been endorsed by the UK Department of Trade and Investment (UKTI). Some of which include:

  • Seedcamp
  • Entrepreneur First
  • Founders Factory Accelerator
  • Tech stars
  • Pi Lab
  • Emerge Education
  • Oxygen Accelerator
  • Wayra UK

Seedcamp: - Seedcamp's offers three options for investment: -

  1. € 75,000 for 7 percent equity - The Structured Equity deal.
  2. 3 percent as a Warrant
  3. € 200,000 in Seed investment

Please visit their website for more details

Entrepreneur first - This is a tech startup seed funding competition aimed at engineers and computer scientists who have strong business ideas in the tech industry. Their program is a 6 month intensive Bootcamp followed by 18 months of general support for the business idea. They run their program in both London and Singapore. Find out more on their website.

Founders Factory Accelerator - This is also another tech startup seed funding competition. Their offer is in two folds. Accelerator and Incubator. The accelerator option is designed for tech entrepreneurs who are in the beginning stage of their business idea. If selected, they will normally be invited for a 6-month boot camp to network and grow their business idea. The next option is the Incubator. Here products are built from the scratch along with their in-house business growth hackers and business development experts. Visit their website for more information.

Tech Stars - Generally acclaimed to be the most competitive mentor program in the world. They position themselves as a global ecosystem that helps entrepreneurs and build great businesses. Every year, the company announced what industries or sectors they will be focusing on; and this year, the focus is on digital health and sensor technology. See more on the website here.

Pi Lab - Pi Lab is a property Tech Venture Capitalist firm. Their offer is similar to SeedCamp's: -

  1. Accelerator Investment of up to £100,000
  2. 5 percent accelerator warrant
  3. Seed investment of up to £2m

Emerge Education - Emerge education offers an accelerator program of a 3-month Bootcamp for individuals looking to improve educational outcomes. They welcome tech startups at any stage of business development.

Oxygen Accelerator - They are also a tech startup. They offer € 21,000 per team in exchange for 8 percent equity. They have a 13-week intensive Bootcamp program as part of the package. Click here to go to their website.

Wayra - They offer venture capitalist funding of up to £34,000. Importantly, Wayra is not restricted to the tech industry like the others.

How we can help

Reiss Edwards is a specialist Tier 1 entrepreneur law firm in London and we can help with any part of the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa application. Our immigration solicitors do not assist you with securing funds but can suggest to you what venture capitalist firms or competition are available and endorsed by the UKTI. Contact us on 020374427797 if you need help with your entrepreneur visa application.

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