About the programme

F astForward London Pre-Accelerator Programme (FFWD for short) is a new initiative by City University London and the Accelerator Academy to prepare startup teams for first funding and successful application and entry to leading London accelerators.
Delivered 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.

Starting on the Tuesday 24th June and finishing on the Tuesday 29th July, participating teams will come together every Tuesday at The Hangout 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.

We call our approach Simple Venture Design, 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.

Week 1, 24th June What’s your problem? Sprint session: Define your minimum viable segment and the job you’ll do for them
Week 2, 1st July How are you going to solve it? Sprint session: Design your value proposition and build a minimum viable product (MVP)
Week 3, 8th July How will you find customers? Sprint session: Design and test your marketing channels
Week 4, 15th July What’s the plan of attack? Sprint session: Design your operations and begin recruiting the resources and partners you need
Week 5, 22nd July What are your financial drivers? Sprint session: Identify the key financial drivers and metrics for your business
Week 6, 29th July How will you convince investors? Sprint session: Learn the basics of venture funding and craft a compelling pitch
8.30am – 9.45am Breakfast show and tell
10.00am – 11.30am Sprint briefing, Keynote talk
11.30am – 1.00pm Sprint session & lunch
2.00pm – 5.00pm 1-to-1 mentoring with industry experts
5.00pm – 5.30pm Regroup, recap and homework
5.30pm onwards Networking with pizza
Once the formal programme is over, you then have August to work on your ideas before being invited back to Cass Business School on Thursday 11th September to pitch to an invited audience of Accelerator managers, grant providers and early stage (SEIS) investors.
  • RT @Jakenfelds: Our most recent investment @LootBank is now on twitter. Give them a follow to find out how they are giving you more control…

    FFWDLondon about 4 hours ago
  • RT @LootBank: Our big unveil. To signup to beta test the next generation of banking, set for early 2015, visit http://t.co/GgyxwDNf3P @benm

    FFWDLondon about 4 hours ago

Our Awesome Team

Thinkers and doers from the world of business and academia.

Ben Mumby-Croft

Ben Mumby-Croft

City University London View Details
Ian Merricks

Ian Merricks

Accelerator Academy View Details
Paul Sturrock

Paul Sturrock

Slingshot Venture Development View Details
Ben Mumby-Croft

Ben Mumby-Croft

City University London

Ben is an experienced enterprise educator with a passion for helping young (and not so young) entrepreneurs turn great ideas into successful start-ups.

Ben is currently responsible for Enterprise Education at City University London where he leads CityStarters, a University-wide initiative to provide extra-curricular enterprise and entrepreneurship education to all students.

In addition this, Ben is also the creator of Visual Marketing Plans – a business canvas style approach to marketing planning – and a seasoned marketer with 12 years’ experience helping entrepreneurs and high growth businesses to achieve their business goals through effective marketing strategy, branding and other intelligent sounding stuff like that.

Follow me: @benmumbycroft

Ian Merricks

Ian Merricks

Accelerator Academy

Entrepreneur Ian Merricks has launched numerous media, tech & finance businesses since ’95 and been a commercial and corporate troubleshooter for EMAP, IPC & The Wireless Group.
He is Managing Partner of White Horse Capital (VC investment and M&A) and sits on the investment committees of the Startup Funding Club and the Cabinet Office’s £10m Social Incubator Fund.
He is an advisor / board member for the British Computer Society, TMTConnect.me Corporate Ventures, Dell’s Centre for Entrepreneurs and The Entrepreneurs’ Network think tank.
In 2011 Ian launched the Accelerator Academy, whose exited entrepreneurs have supported the creation of 64 high growth startups, securing £10m of seed funding.

Follow me: @ianmerricks1

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


City University London
Accelerator Academy
Capital Enterprise
European Union
Tech Stars
Ignite Accelerator
Entrepreneurial Spark
Oxygen Accelerator
The Bakery
True Start
Dot forge Accelerator
UCL Mobile Academy
Task Firm
Isis Innovation
Start Up Loans


Join us at The Hangout every Tuesday from 24th June to 29th July


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