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Oxygen Accelerator offers £75,000 prize for top tech start-up

Warwick Ashford

The Birmingham-based Oxygen Accelerator tech start-up support programme is to give £75,000 to the top participant in the 13-week intensive mentor-led training programme.

Ten businesses selected from hundreds around the world are to take part in the programme, which will begin in September at Birmingham Science Park Aston.

The programme culminates with a series of investor days where participants can pitch to a large, carefully selected group of angel investors, venture capitalists and private equity groups for next stage funding.

Each organisation stands to receive a pre-seed loan of up to £20,000, advice, mentorship and connections in exchange for a 6% equity stake for Oxygen Accelerator.

But founder Mark Hales has put up £75,000 to be won by the business - voted for by mentors, investors and peers as the 'most improved' - that has demonstrated an ability to continue to develop a sustainable business.

"Investing a further £75,000 in the team that has shown a marked improvement from when they joined the programme will help fuel inspiration, determination and the passion needed to make a business work," he said.

Applications to be considered for the programme are open until 30 June.

"The successful 10 will have access to a pool of state-of-the-art resources and also receive guidance from fellow successful tech entrepreneurs, business mentors and financial and legal support, which is imperative for any business during its formative stages," said Hales.


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