International Trade Minister Welcomes Success of UK’s Sirius Programme and New Management – New Cohort Now Recruiting!

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–November 3, 2016–

The Sirius Programme was launched by UK Trade and Industry (UKTI), now part of the Department of International Trade (DIT), in 2013 to promote the UK as a destination for young entrepreneurs looking to locate promising new companies that would create jobs and economic benefits across the UK.

To date, Sirius has attracted over 2,300 gifted and ambitious individuals from 93 countries to apply for the programme, leading to 73 companies coming to the UK.

Management of the Sirius Programme has been transferred to a consortium of private and charity sector organisations to facilitate its growth and development. The support programme will be run on a not-for-profit basis. The seed funding for the startups will be sourced from UK private investors, benefiting from HM Treasury’s Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), with the expectation of a strong investment return given the calibre of international startups and the support they will be able to access in the UK.

The consortium includes The Accelerator Network, Entrepreneurial Spark, NACUE, Natwest, (part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group), The Rain Gods and White Horse Capital.

Participants in the Sirius programme receive a complete package of services to maximise their potential for success. This includes seed funding, acceleration training, mentoring, twelve-months office accommodation and support in obtaining visas where needed.

Welcoming the announcement, the Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, International Trade Minister, said,

“The Sirius Programme has been instrumental in attracting talented young entrepreneurs from all over the world to come to the UK to start and grow their businesses, making a vital contribution to our economy. On my previous visit to RBS’ headquarters in Scotland, I saw first-hand the difference that accelerator programmes can make to young, innovative entrepreneurs and their businesses.”

“I am pleased this successful Programme will continue. Not only will entrepreneurs benefit from this new partnership, as a result of the invaluable private and charity expertise the consortium will provide, it will help to ensure the UK remains the number one destination in Europe for entrepreneurs.”

Timothy Barnes, Chairman, Sirius New Direction Ltd added,

“The development and growth of the Sirius Programme underlines our confidence in the reputation of the UK as a leading global destination for young entrepreneurs. There are some incredibly ambitious entrepreneurs with great business ideas that would benefit from being based here and we are keen to hear from them all!”

Applications for the new format programme are open now and the first cohort to be selected before the end of the year.

About The Sirius Programme

The Sirius Programme aims to bring some of the best young entrepreneurial talent from around the world to the UK where they can build their businesses for the benefit of themselves and the UK economy. Companies arriving from abroad will be allocated across the UK to cities and regions relevant to their businesses while also ensuring the whole country benefits from their activity.

Companies completing the Sirius pilot cohorts include BioBean Ltd and

Applications for the next cohort are open now via

When fully developed, the programme aims to attract up to 40 new companies to the UK each year, split between two cohorts annually. The first cohort is scheduled to begin in Spring 2017.

About the Sirius New Direction Consortium

Sirius New Direction Ltd is a company limited by guarantee working on a not-for-profit basis. It is the management vehicle for a consortium of partners, all of which had previous experience of the Sirius Programme. Each partner brings unique capabilities and assets to the delivery of the programme:

  • The Accelerator Network – a leading international provider of training and support programmes for entrepreneurs
  • Entrepreneurial Spark – provider of the world’s largest free accelerator programme with physical premises across the UK
  • The National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE) – a charity dedicated to providing support to develop young entrepreneurial talent in through support for university entrepreneurship societies
  • Natwest – one of the UK’s leading banks, is a leading corporate backers of entrepreneurs and part of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, one of the world’s largest financial services businesses
  • The Rain Gods – an independent firm offering support services to start ups and innovation consultancy to government and large businesses
  • White Horse Capital – a specialist capital provider for early stage businesses

Sirius will be marketed as “The Sirius Programme” and “Sirius”.

Sirius New Direction
Timothy Barnes
M: 00 44 7903 188447

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