About the programme

FastForward, the UK's Pre-Accelerator Programme (FFWD for short) is an initiative by City University and The Accelerator Network to prepare startup teams for first funding and successful application and entry to leading accelerators.

D elivered in one-day sprints, over a 6-week period, this interactive, hands-on programme is designed to cover key topics such as Tech, Marketing, Finance, and much more, using a blend of expert speakers and professional industry mentors.

The programme runs twice a year, with a spring and summer intake, participating teams will come together once a week for an action-packed day of learning and doing. Over the course of the programme, participating teams will complete weekly business sprint sessions to fast track their ideas into viable startup ventures.

Our approach comprises of an eclectic toolkit which combines the best aspects of Lean Startup, Design Thinking, “MBA” analysis, common sense and street smarts. Ultimately, investors prefer evidence to talk, our programme will help you to build your credibility as a team by making sure you can show investors as much as the opportunity as possible instead of merely telling them.

 

 

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE
Week 1 - 08/02/17 What’s your problem? Sprint session: Define your minimum viable segment and the job you’ll do for them
Week 2 – 15/02/17 How are you going to solve it? Sprint session: Design your value proposition and build a minimum viable product (MVP)
Week 3 – 22/02/17 How will you find customers? Sprint session: Design and test your marketing channels
Week 4 – 01/03/17 What’s the plan of attack? Sprint session: Design your operations and begin recruiting the resources and partners you need
Week 5 – 08/03/17 What are your financial drivers? Sprint session: Identify the key financial drivers and metrics for your business
Week 6 – 15/03/17 How will you convince investors? Sprint session: Learn the basics of venture funding and craft a compelling pitch

 

SESSION STRUCTURE
8.30am – 10.00am  Tea & Coffee, Show and Tell
10.00am – 12.00pm Sprint briefing & Keynote talk
12.00pm – 1.00pm Sprint session & working lunch
1.00pm – 5.00pm 1-to-1 mentoring with industry experts
5.00pm – 5.30pm Regroup, recap and homework
5.30pm Close
Once the formal programme is over, you then have a couple of weeks to work on your ideas before being invited back to pitch to an invited audience of Accelerator managers, grant providers and early stage (SEIS) investors on the 30th March 2017

The Team

Thinkers and doers from the world of business and academia.

Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis

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Paul Sturrock

Paul Sturrock

Slingshot Venture Development View Details
Andrew Huddart

Andrew Huddart

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Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis

Katie Lewis has joined The Accelerator Network to head up seed stage funding activity and programme delivery of FFWD and Accelerator Academy. Katie brings with her early stage Venture Capital experience, having worked with over 100 companies raising between £150k – £1m from a variety of sources.

Katie is co-founder of 9others, which delivers highly curated dinners for entrepreneurs to discuss the challenges they are facing in building their business. Prior to this she worked for a SME preparing it for a prosperous trade sale in 2010 and had a successful startup venture in New Zealand.

Paul Sturrock

Paul Sturrock

Slingshot Venture Development

I’ve spent my whole career leading the design and implementation of entrepreneurial strategy, or developing the capability of others to do so.

I founded Slingshot Venture Development in 2001 to help companies and individuals develop their entrepreneurial capacity and accelerate their ventures.

I’ve developed Simple Venture Design, an entrepreneurial toolkit which integrates creative tools such as Effectual Entrepreneurship, Design Thinking and Lean Startup with analytic ones. It’s become the the basis for teaching business design as a creative craft as opposed to an art or a science. I’ve used this approach to design bootcamps and courses for the London City Incubator, City University, Central Saint Martins, Scottish Institute for Enterprise, and Hong Kong University, and Wayra Madrid.

I have advised founders and early stage investors as a mentor, board director, and consultant.
My clients have included Boots, MIT Media Lab, the SETsquared Partnership, NESTA Investments, School for Startups and Imperial Innovations.

I started my career in with Advanced Cardiovascular Systems, the most successful medical startup in Silicon Valley history. My formative experience was as founding CFO for PSG, and intrapreneurial spinoff unit. After senior posts in Europe for Guidant, I left to become European Director for Gynecare, setting up their operations prior to a successful exit to J&J.

I then joined Gorilla Park, a pan-European technology accelerator and launched their venture investment and acceleration operations in Sweden as Managing Director.

Follow me: @Psturrock

Andrew Huddart

Andrew Huddart

Andrew Huddart joined City University London in 2009 after a period working as senior policy advisor to the New Zealand Minister of Research Science & Technology, coordinating cross-disciplinary innovation initiatives. His background includes financial journalism and consulting in the digital sector. Since joining the Enterprise group at City as Strategic Partnerships Manager he has been at the forefront of the University’s industry engagement with Tech City. He represents City on the board of London-wide economic development and skills alliance Capital Enterprise and is a key stakeholder in community festival Digital Shoreditch. Andrew is also an active Tech London Advocate, with a special interest in HealthTech.

FFWD UK’S PRE-ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME

City University London
Accelerator Academy
Capital Enterprise
Tech Stars
True Start
Ignite Accelerator
Entrepreneurial Spark
Oxygen Accelerator
The Bakery
B2B
Dot forge Accelerator
UCL Mobile Academy
Isis Innovation
Start Up Loans
Cinnamon Bridge
Bethnal Green Ventures
MSV
ICAEW
Collider
BCS
100TB
BBCLabs
MassChallenge
L39
Work.Life
Innovation Warehouse
Wayra
NatWest
Grocery Accelerator

 

ICAEW
Collider
BCS

Location

The Hangout at Unruly, 42-46 Princelet Street, London E1 5LP

Testimonials

  • Before joining I was unsure about the value I would gain from FFWD, but have to say that the experience has been extremely beneficial both for developing Screena, and for the learning experience that will shape my approach to other projects.  This was apparent right from the first week!​

    Kelly Smith
    Founder of Screena
  • The whole experience was invaluable, from the keynote speeches to the 1:1 mentoring. Being amongst other start-ups was great, and the Fast Forward team were lovely!

    Arjun Agarwal
    Founder of OrgStem
  • FFWD put us through our paces, provided us with the framework to develop our proposition and most importantly focussed us as a team to build our business. It was an excellent programme, which I would recommend any early stage startup to join.

    Thomas Spencer
    Founder of Spence App
  • FFWD surpassed my expectations with their amazing mentors and line-up of accelerator partners we got to pitch for at the end. If you’re an entrepreneur starting out, FFWD is definitely one of the first places you should start.

    Bar Segal
    Co-founder and COO of LoveThyChef
  • The FFWD programme has definitely opened my eyes and pushed me further to do more than I believed was possible. Thanks to all the FFWD team. It’s been a great experience!

    Miodrag Vidakovic
    Co-founder of Nudge
  • It was really good to work with the FFWD team as we structured the proposition for Percentile. The team provided valuable insight on communicating with impact and came with bags of energy to keep everyone on their toes. Great job a delivering a fantastic programme.

    Anthony Pereira
    Co-founder and CEO of Percentile
  • Everyone in the FFWD team has been incredibly helpful and a great point of contact to have when it comes to entering the startup world. I’d recommend FFWD to anyone who is in the early stages of creating a business.

    Dhruvin Patel
    Founder of Ocushield
  • Before joining I was unsure about the value I would gain from FFWD, but have to say that the experience has been extremely beneficial both for developing Screena, and for the learning experience that will shape my approach to other projects.  This was apparent right from the first week!​

    Kelly Smith
    Founder of Screena
  • The whole experience was invaluable, from the keynote speeches to the 1:1 mentoring. Being amongst other start-ups was great, and the Fast Forward team were lovely!

    Arjun Agarwal
    Founder of OrgStem
  • FFWD put us through our paces, provided us with the framework to develop our proposition and most importantly focussed us as a team to build our business. It was an excellent programme, which I would recommend any early stage startup to join.

    Thomas Spencer
    Founder of Spence App
  • FFWD surpassed my expectations with their amazing mentors and line-up of accelerator partners we got to pitch for at the end. If you’re an entrepreneur starting out, FFWD is definitely one of the first places you should start.

    Bar Segal
    Co-founder and COO of LoveThyChef
  • The FFWD programme has definitely opened my eyes and pushed me further to do more than I believed was possible. Thanks to all the FFWD team. It’s been a great experience!

    Miodrag Vidakovic
    Co-founder of Nudge
  • It was really good to work with the FFWD team as we structured the proposition for Percentile. The team provided valuable insight on communicating with impact and came with bags of energy to keep everyone on their toes. Great job a delivering a fantastic programme.

    Anthony Pereira
    Co-founder and CEO of Percentile
  • Everyone in the FFWD team has been incredibly helpful and a great point of contact to have when it comes to entering the startup world. I’d recommend FFWD to anyone who is in the early stages of creating a business.

    Dhruvin Patel
    Founder of Ocushield

Apply Now

What are you waiting for? If you have a great idea, a team, and the passion to make your startup happen then we want to hear from you