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Business Startup Accelerator Programme

Nurturing talent across the Midlands

Are you pre-start or recently set up a business?

The Business Startup Accelerator Programme could provide you with free training, resources and connections to help you to establish, grow and succeed.

Established in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Loughborough University has partnered with Charnwood Borough Council to develop a new generation of businesses rooted in Loughborough and more resilient to future challenges.

The programme is delivered by LU Inc., Loughborough University’s incubator. We’re seeking individuals from the region working on new, early-stage products or services with lots of potential. We’ll help by providing a 6-month long programme of support including:

  • Coaching - guidance on how to rapidly test new ideas and set up and grow new business ventures
  • Training – expert-led workshops and virtual resources designed to help you develop all elements of your business, from business modelling to finance to marketing
  • Connections – signposting and support to access networks across the region to progress your business idea
  • Workspace - access to flexible shared office space in Loughborough Town Centre
  • Funding – the potential to access funding toward follow on workspace (post-programme)

The Business Startup Accelerator Programme is delivered by Loughborough University and is part-funded by Charnwood Enterprise Zone Historical Business Rates, overseen by Charnwood Borough Council and the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership.


About LU Inc.

Our mission is to nurture emerging new businesses from across the region and beyond, as well as those originating from Loughborough University. We aim to create a rich, vibrant and supportive start-up community.

LU Inc. members can benefit from:

  • Expert-led start-up programme of training and events
  • Introductions to specialists, mentors and Entrepreneurs in Residence
  • Access to investor networks and other funding partners
  • Profile raising opportunities as your business develops, through the University and partner networks
  • Co-location within a vibrant start-up community bringing together fellow founders
  • Fully serviced shared workspace located in Loughborough Town Centre or Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP)

"Coming from a corporate background, the really useful thing about working alongside other startups has been to learn from them how they’re building their company. I can bounce ideas off other founders and projects can develop through conversations whilst making a brew."

GeorgeDirector1284PR & Communications startup

"Working in a co-working environment has worked an absolute treat. Being surrounded by other like-minded and ambitious people has helped me validate, execute and cultivate my ideas much more efficiently and effectively."

BenDirectorDefined CreativeBrand design startup

"It’s easy to lose focus working from home. Being in the right workplace can mean you’re more productive and you can seek help when you get stuck."

LouiseDirectorThe People DealFairness in the workplace tools and training

Am I eligible?

You are eligible to apply for the programme if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You are living, working or have recently been studying in the Leicester & Leicestershire area
  • You are entering the labour market, are out of work or in casual or temporary employment
  • You are a new business registered in Leicester & Leicestershire area and are within 12 months of setup and are working on a new product or service

Business Startup Accelerator application form

Thank you for your interest in the programme.

The details you provide will only be used for the purposes of the administration of the Wayfinder project. They will be kept safe and not shared with third parties.


Applications are currently closed. If you would like to be considered for the next round, please complete the form below and we will be in touch in due course.


For the following questions we advise no more than 100 words.