The Sirius Programme

This programme run by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) helps overseas graduates who have bright business ideas to set up in the UK.

This guidance was withdrawn on

This page has been withdrawn as it is out of date.

Visit the UK Sirius Programme for current information.

International graduates with ambitions to start and grow a business should consider doing it in the UK. The UK is one of the easiest places in the world to do business and UKTI can help you get started.

Teams with ideas for a business or existing start-ups in the early stages should apply for this programme.

Previous Winners

See details of the winners who have taken part in the Sirius programme and what they’re doing now.


Those who join the programme will receive various benefits which include:

  • a 12 month place with a leading accelerator
  • financial support worth £12,000 per individual for a year
  • coaching and mentoring
  • help to find customers
  • help to relocate to the UK
  • getting a visa
  • no loss of equity in your business


There must be:

  • up to 3 people in a team
  • at least 50% being non-British citizens

All team members must have graduated since 2012 or are graduating in June 2014 with one of the following qualifications:

  • BA
  • MA
  • MSC
  • MBA
  • PHD

Team members must meet the eligibility criteria to receive the benefits of the programme.


Before you apply

You should:

  • check that you’re eligible
  • prepare a 2 minute video for submitting with your application
  • have evidence you’ve graduated or are graduating


The applications process is closed. Get updates about the programme on twitter @siriusprogramme

Selection processs

Applications will be judged by an independent panel. Successful applicants will be interviewed by at least 1 accelerator before being offered a place.

Winners will not lose any equity in their business.

What the winners must do

All the winners will need to:

  • relocate to the UK for a minimum of 12 months as a team
  • start the accelerator programme by October 2014
  • establish the headquarters of their business in the UK
  • transfer all intellectual property (IP) agreements to your business in the UK

Teams can continue to work with the accelerator when the 12 month programmme finishes. The accelerator will need to agree that the team can join their standard programme.

Help from Accelerators

UKTI is working with 5 accelerator programmes as part of the Sirius Programme. Each accelerator has designed a specific programme for the winners.

Accelerators help start up teams to grow through mentoring, events, workshops and providing an office space where they can work.

The accelerators are:

  • Entrepreneurial Spark
  • Ignite 100
  • Oxygen Accelerator
  • Accelerator Academy
  • The Bakery
Map showing where the Business Accelerators are located in the UK

Map showing where the Business Accelerators are located in the UK

Published 12 June 2014