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. Since launching in 2014, we have supported over 70 ventures and backed 15 of the most promising ventures with over £1 million in seed capital. Our ventures typically work across these issues:

  • 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

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What we offer

The Accelerator is free for participants. Applications for our 2019 programme are now open, see more details in the 'How to Apply' section.

For 2019, we are offering a two-stage programme for social ventures working across education and employability for disadvantaged young people.

Stage 1: Aug - Oct 2019

  • A series of workshops over 3 months, each of which focuses on strengthening a different part of the social business model canvas
  • 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
  • Expanded networks and access to prospective funders, investors and supporters

Stage 2: Oct - Dec 2019

At stage 2 we will work with a select number of ventures from stage 1 who are seeking to explore replication, scale and access to customers. Stage 2 will also be delivered through a programme of tailored workshops and we will work in partnership with gateway organisations such as schools, colleges and employers. In addition to these workshops you will also have access to:

  • Access to customers and networks – events and ‘meet your customer’ days
  • The opportunity to test a product or service in a real setting and obtain feedback from prospective users
  • 1 to 1 coaching with experts in education, scaling and impact management
  • Mentoring from more established social ventures and relevent sector experts
  • facilitated meetings and events with prospective partners and funders
  • Subsidised tickets for key sector events

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

For our 2019 cohort, we are looking to support social ventures who are working within the education curriculum with a focus on employability – working with young people to access, thrive and progress in their careers – from the creative industries to STEM. This could be work within early year’s education, primary, secondary or post-16.

If your initiative falls outside of employability focus but still aims to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged young people, then get in touch and we will explore your initiative in more detail and suitability for the programme.

Stage 1

  • You have a legal structure (e.g. you are registered as a CIC or charity).
  • You have been operating for at least 12 months.
  • You are working within the education curriculum with a focus on employability.
  • Your initiative particularly benefits young people who face disadvantage and/or experience the effects of educational inequalities.
  • You have early evidence data – indicators for positive impact from your initiative.
  • You are willing and prepared to work in partnership to scale your social impact.
  • You are willing to share learning and to work as part of a cohort.
  • You are open to receive and act on feedback and operate honestly.

Satge 2

    Additionally, those ventures we work with at stage 2 should:

  • Thoroughly understand the problem you are tackling.
  • Have developed a clear ‘core’ service or product and be clear on what specific elements of the intervention need to be replicated to achieve impact.
  • Have a meaningful vision for how you want the project to develop.
  • Have promising evidence of social impact.
  • Have the resources and capacity in place and a willingness to fully participate in the programme.

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. 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 2019 Accelerator are now open. Please apply via our online form,click here.


Accepting applications: 24 June – 28 July (end of the day)
Shortlisting and interviews: 29 July – 9 Aug
Cohort selection and offers: 12 Aug
Accelerator stage 1 delivery: Sep – Oct
Accelerator stage 2 delivery: Oct – Dec

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