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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/endorsing-bodies-start-up/start-up
This page provides a list of authorised endorsing bodies that can issue endorsements for Start-up visas, as well as information provided by the endorsing bodies. An organisation can only issue an endorsement if it is on the list.
If you have been offered an endorsement by an organisation that is not on the list, you can report it on GOV.UK.
Before contacting an endorsing body
Before you contact an endorsing body, you should consider the content of the information provided below and visit their website. You should only contact an endorsing body if you are applying for an endorsement from them.
For more general queries regarding the Start-up route, applicants and immigration advisors should refer to the information on gov.uk. if you need further information, applicants should contact UKVI.
Immigration advisors can contact the Home Office business helpdesk.
Neither the endorsing bodies nor the business helpdesk will answer hypothetical or speculative enquiries.
Business endorsing bodies
The Bakery endorses bona-fide entrepreneurs who qualify for their corporate innovation programmes.
BGV is an early stage investor in tech for good companies who only endorse start-up entrepreneurs accepted onto their support programme.
Blue Orchid will only endorse high growth start-ups who are working within their client base across England’s North West and West Midlands.
Capital Enterprise will only be endorsing founders within their community. Check back as this may change with time.
CBP are an award-winning business development organisation, supporting highly innovative, skilled individuals to help realise their entrepreneurial growth ambitions. Selected endorsements are considered for high-growth business opportunities across the UK.
CyLon is interested in hearing from emerging cyber security companies or entrepreneurs planning on setting up an innovative cyber start-up.
Apply if you are a scientist or engineer determined to start a deep science company. Please apply through the current opportunities page.
DRS will only consider applications for endorsement from those individuals who they are working with in their client base.
Emerge Education invests in and supports the growth of early stage education startups.
ECP providing business implementation and mentoring services for dynamic and disruptive companies looking to establish themselves in the UK. They are fully prepared to review a sector-agnostic range of business opportunities. Please visit the ECP website.
Envestors is an award-winning corporate finance advisor that endorses international innovators wanting to build a business in the UK and fundraise through their digital platform technology.
They offer an open invitation to entrepreneurs worldwide with innovative business ideas to register in their Business Support Program, with future potential endorsement. Contact them now.
Fortunis Capital works with motivated individuals and teams who have innovative and scalable proposals that aim to have a positive impact on wider society. They actively manage their entire portfolio.
Founders Factory is an award-winning tech startup accelerator and incubator. They endorse entrepreneurs joining one their programmes.
They only endorse applicants who are successful in applying for one of their accelerator programmes.
Innovate Britain focus on vital enterprise sectors including Education, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Consumer and Infrastructure. Applications are accepted through their website.
Geminus can provide endorsements to clients on their “Innovator International” business support programme, available across the UK.
An award-winning team who work with highly innovative and skilled individuals to realise their growth aspirations. Located in the north, particularly the Manchester and Liverpool region, with expertise in green and renewable energy, engineering, manufacturing, digital and tech.
Invest NI endorses entities for Start-up/Innovator visas through participation on its accelerator program or requests from client companies only.
Kollider is a high growth business incubator. They endorse members with innovative ideas in the creative, digital and tech sectors expected to scale in their markets within 24 months.
Level39 only endorses those involved in FinTech, cyber security, smart cities, retail tech and other globally ambitious tech business.
MDR LAB is an accelerator for tech start-ups in the legal space. They only endorse migrants accepted onto their 10-week May-July programme.
MedCitysupports collaboration, investment, entrepreneurship and industry within the life sciences across Greater South-East of England.
RebelBio specialises in pre-seed investments in Biotech, Healthtech, Life Sciences, Future of Food, Agtech and Biomaterials. They invest broadly in science-based, tech-enabled early-stage start-ups.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh only provide endorsement to their awardees who have received an RSE Enterprise Fellowship. Unfortunately they cannot support any individual who does not fall under this category.
Sapphire is a multi-award winning venture capital firm located in London and Belfast. Sapphire seeks to identify and assist bonafide entrepreneurs who will qualify for further investment through Sapphire’s numerous startup venture capital funds.
Scottish EDGE can endorse winners of its bi-annual funding competition for innovative, high-growth potential Scottish businesses. Approximately 6% of applicants win.
Seedcamp invest early in world-class founders attacking large, global markets and solving real problems using technology. Please visit their website for more information and FAQs.
SETsquared Bristol incubator will only endorse technology start-ups meeting entry criteria to their incubator and looking to establish an office in Bristol.
Startup Funding Club invests in early stage ventures from across all sectors, leading their first funding round, supporting growth and taking them to the next stage.
The Start-up Race are a global accelerator that supports world-class entrepreneurs and start-ups who want to create disruptive and innovative businesses. They only consider applications for Start-up and Innovator visa endorsements from individuals supported through their programmes and communities.
Tech Nation focuses on entrepreneurs of product-led digital technology businesses and are developing an initiative to identify and support Tech Nation applicants. They aim to begin endorsing applications by April 2020 or sooner if possible. Please visit their website for future updates.
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. They can only endorse Techstars backed Founders and other individuals from the Network.
Tech X is a unique tech accelerator & and incubator for global start-ups looking to transform the Energy Sector – offers unparalleled funding and support.
Higher education endorsing bodies
Applications are welcome from ARU students. We regret non-ARU students cannot be considered.
Endorsing business in the creative arts industries.
For those who have completed a course of study at Aston University in the last 5 years and have had a business idea accepted by BSEEN.
Bangor University only endorses Bangor Graduates on this visa and they must have graduated within 12 months preceding the application.
Bath Spa University will only accept endorsement applications from Bath Spa students and their recent graduates (up to 2 years).
Supporting Bournemouth University international alumni start-ups and innovators across the UK, and exceptional UK HEI international graduates looking to start businesses in Wessex.
BPP University will only endorse its graduates in the Start-up route. They will not endorse external candidates or in the Innovator route.
Brunel University London will only endorse its graduates in the Start-up route. They will not endorse external candidates or in the Innovator route.
The International Entrepreneurs Programme runs intensively for 6 months from the Centre for Entrepreneurship incubator and includes workshops, mentoring, office space and general support. Cardiff Metropolitan University is currently endorsing its own students and graduates only.
Cardiff University are only able to consider endorsement requests from their graduate students or any of their students who have completed their studies and are approaching their graduation date.
Open to Coventry graduates only.
Supporting entrepreneurs every step of their journey, they accept applications from students and alumni of Cranfield.
They provide opportunities for start-up visa endorsement to eligible graduating students and graduates of Durham University.
Creating a unique environment to build sustainable businesses with high-growth potential in one of the UK’s leading creative tech hubs.
Florida State University London accepts applications for Start-Up visa endorsements only from graduates of FSU or US Universities with whom they have existing affiliations.
Applications will only be considered for ‘Start-Up’ endorsement from eligible graduating students or graduates of Goldsmiths University of London, who wish to remain in the UK to start up a new business idea with the support of the University. For more information please visit their website.
Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs is an incubator to help people in the performing arts launch and advance their own enterprises. Guildhall School will only endorse graduates from Guildhall School.
Keele Business School Smart Innovation Hub, and the Research and Innovation Support Programme will support selected Keele students and alumni.
The Entrepreneurship Institute at King’s College London will support start-up visas that meet UKVI criteria from current and former King’s students.
They will only endorse graduates from LJMU. They will only consider applications from postgraduate students who hold a current Tier 4 visa.
They accept applications from students and alumni, as well as co-founders working with LBS students or alumni.
For LSE students, with the exception of non-LSE applicants who are key members of an LSE team only.
They can only endorse applicants who have graduated from LSBU within the last 2 years and have not started a business in the UK before.
Endorsing body for Loughborough University graduates. Contact the Loughborough Enterprise Network for further information.
Newcastle University will only endorse graduates from Newcastle University. They will consider applications from graduating students and recent graduates (up to 3 years).
Only open to students and recent graduates (within the immediate 2 years preceding date of application) of Nottingham Trent University.
Plymouth College of Art welcomes endorsement applications from graduates and alumni of the college.
Open to Queen Mary University of London graduates only.
They only accept applications for endorsement from Queen’s graduates and applicants must have completed a degree within the last 12 months.
They consider endorsements from graduates of Robert Gordon University which have been accepted on and participate in their Startup Accelerator Programme. Further information can be found on the The Robert Gordon University website.
Central will only accept endorsement applications from their current students and their alumni (within 2 years of completing studies).
UCL will only consider applicants who have graduated from UCL in the last 12 months. Please visit their website for further information.
Only endorses graduates who have graduated from the University of Bath within the previous 2 years and meet SETsquared membership criteria.
The University of Bradford welcomes applications to its Accelerated Global Entrepreneurship programme from eligible graduates of any university. An innovative business or social enterprise plan is required. Applicants must be committed to basing themselves and their enterprise in Bradford.
The University of Bristol will consider endorsing their students for Start-up following a rigorous application process.
They consider endorsement for those who are graduating or have graduated from the University of Cambridge.
They will only endorse start-up applications from Chester students who graduate in the same academic year and who possess an outstanding, genuine and credible business idea in line with the university’s criteria.
They only accept applications from UEL Students or Graduates. Their programme is competitive with limited endorsements therefore align your application to the criteria.
The University of Edinburgh endorses Start-up applicants who have a close demonstrable relationship with their institution (students and alumni).
The University of Exeter will only consider endorsements for students and graduates of the university who engaged with entrepreneurship activity during their studies.
Endorsements allocated through the annual enterprise challenge, run by the university’s i3 centre. Open to graduates of the university only.
They only accept endorsement applications from their current students and their alumni (within 1 year of completing studies).
The University of Liverpool will only endorse students who graduate from the University of Liverpool within the same academic year.
Only graduates of the University of Manchester will be considered for endorsement.
To apply for endorsement applicants must be students or graduates (up to 5 years) from the University of Portsmouth.
Endorsement only available to those who have or are due to complete studies at the University of Sheffield.
They will only consider endorsement for those who are graduating or have graduated from the University of South Wales or RWCMD within the last 12 months.
Accepts applications for the Start-up category from students with proven engagement with the Enterprise Programme and/or UoS alumni: Innovation and Enterprise Team.
Their Enterprise Place offers start up support, 1-1 business advice, structured workshops and networking opportunities for their alumni.
External start-ups must meet SETsquared Surrey incubator criteria and adhere to the incubator membership for the endorsement duration.
The University of the Arts London offers endorsement exclusively to UAL graduates within 2 years of graduating. The scheme is delivered by careers and employability.
Their Launch Space provides physical incubator space and enterprise support for graduate start-up businesses at UWE.
The University of the West of Scotland (UWS) will endorse current students or recent graduates who demonstrate an innovative business idea and entrepreneurial mind-set.
They will consider applications from Warwick graduates with a viable business idea that they wish to start in the UK.