World news story
UK launches global search for next group of talented entrepreneurs
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The second round of UKTI's Sirius Programme is open, inviting talented graduates with world-class start-up ideas to make the UK their home.
Successful Sirius Programme applicants will receive approximately A$20,000 in funding plus a place on a top start-up accelerator and help in relocating to the UK.
The first year of the Programme in 2013 saw 40 successful teams of entrepreneurs relocate to the UK, including two Australians, Jonathon Spanos of innovative woollen sports shoe company ToBe and James Tilbury, co-founder of Carbon Analytics.
Tilbury, an Oxford University graduate joined fellow students Greg FitzGerald and Michael Thornton in founding Carbon Analytics – an online platform that aims to make it easy and affordable for companies to measure and reduce their carbon footprint.
“The Sirius Programme made it possible for three cash-strapped graduates to set up a business rather than re-enter the corporate world,” said Tilbury. “Without the UKTI-endorsed entrepreneur visas it would have been nearly impossible to base the whole team in one city.”
“Being accepted into the Sirius Programme was much like receiving a scholarship to attend Oxford University; they provide you with a visa, a stipend, support for moving to the UK and a community of like-minded individuals to collaborate with,” said Tilbury. “The UK is a great place to start a business, particularly in the sustainability space.”
Upon relocating to London in late 2013, the Carbon Analytics founders completed a 13 week placement with Oxygen Accelerator, before launching the Beta version of the platform. They are currently trialling the software with half a dozen companies before the expected official launch at the beginning of 2015. They also received additional funding through the Technology Strategy Board.
“The ideal path for us is to finish market testing and raise a round of funding through Angel Investors within the next six months,” said Tilbury. “We’re talking to a couple of large retailers as well as some US companies and we have plans to start working with Australian companies in the future.”