The Accelerator supports cohorts of early-stage education ventures, helping them to develop more effective products and services and become more sustainable organisations that can scale up. Many of the 52 ventures supported in the Young Academy’s first four years have gone on to achieve impressive scale, addressing inequalities in the education system and improving the life chances of thousands of young people. Their focus has included:

  • New teaching and learning approaches

  • Increasing young people’s engagement in science and maths

  • Mentoring and tutoring programmes

  • Careers education and employability skills

  • Life skills, resilience and character development

  • CPD to improve teacher retention and wellbeing


What we offer

The Accelerator is free for participants. Applications for our Autumn/Winter 2018 programme are now open, see more details in the 'How to Apply' section. The programme consists of:

  • A series of workshops over 3 months, each of which focuses on strengthening a different part of the organisation and what it does
  • 1:1 coaching from experts in education, impact measurement and venture development
  • 1:1 support from volunteers at our corporate partners who are experts in strategy, business and finance
  • The opportunity to test a product or service in a real setting and obtain feedback from prospective users
  • Support and challenge from a cohort of peers with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise
  • Expanded networks and access to prospective funders, investors and supporters through events and a final presentation at Demo Day

The programme builds on The Young Foundation’s long track record of building the sustainability, growth and impact of hundreds of social ventures and focuses on five main areas:

  1. Social value
  2. User-led innovation
  3. Commercialisation and funding
  4. Operations
  5. Thriving as an entrepreneur

By the end of the programme, ventures will have developed a more effective product or service, an organisation with better prospects for sustainability and a plan for scaling and accessing ongoing funding and support.

What we look for

The Young Academy is interested in social impact and supports organisations with any legal form. We are particularly keen to work with ventures that are:

High impact

  • Innovative approach with early evidence of effectiveness
  • Particularly benefits young people who face disadvantage and/or experience the effects of educational inequalities

Early stage and high potential

  • Business model that could generate income and repay an investment
  • Ability to scale up and create wider systemic change

Led by a capable and motivated team

  • Relevant skills, motivation and ambition to grow a successful venture
  • Willingness to learn and share with others as part of a cohort

Ventures we have supported and invested in have focused on a wide range of issues within and alongside the education system from early years to employment, which have they have approached with a diverse range of models. Examples include:

  1. Think for the Future’s behaviour mentoring programme supports secondary school pupils at risk of exclusion and keeps them in mainstream school, using an payment by results model that can save schools money
  2. Panjango is a virtual world of work that maps the curriculum to work-related challenges, helping young people develop the knowledge, skills and experience needed to thrive in life after school
  3. Moti-Lab is a pop-up laboratory for experiential and sensory learning across early years foundation stage and primary education. It engages all children in learning science and maths and builds teacher confidence in delivering the curriculum

Explore our Ventures page to find out more.

How to apply

Applications for our Autumn/Winter 2018 Accelerator are now open. To apply via our online form,click here.


Accepting applications: 11 July – 3 Sep (9am)
Shortlisting and interviews: 4 Sep – 13 Sep
Cohort selection and offers: 17 Sep
Programme delivery: 3 Oct – 16 Jan
Demo Day: January 2019, date tbc

To learn more about the type of ventures we have supported previously please see Ventures. Please contact if you have further questions about the programme and eligibility.

We found our Chief Executive – a volunteer mentor from Bank of America Merrill Lynch – through the programme and he has been really significant for our growth.
— Carl Dawson, Founder, Proversity