Welcome to the home of Bristol's internet incubator.
We are now well established as part of the exciting Engine Shed development at the historic gateway to Bristol - Brunel's Temple Meads Station. This exciting new hub also houses the Bristol SETsquared Centre, a co-working space, business lounge and the offices of Invest Bristol & Bath.
In 2014 we ran two programmes of 10 fresh new startups with exciting ideas for new apps and web services and give them a home, some money and 10 weeks of intensive mentoring from a diverse team of Bristol based experts. At the end of each programme we co-hosted a demo day where each startup pitched their world changing idea to a room full of potential investors, the first real step in a journey that could lead to becoming the next big thing....
Having completed two busy programmes in 2014 and incubated 20 great startups our 2015-16 programme is up and running with five new companies.
- The WebStart Incubator is now full but feel free to submit for future programmes.
- We will only consider applications from startups that are planning to develop apps, websites and web services for rapid deployment, not product development or agencies please.
- You and your fellow founders must be available to work from our offices in the Engine Shed during the programme and will be expected to observe normal office hours as a minimum.
- If you are in full time employment or education during the period of the programme it is unlikely you will be selected as we are looking for 100% dedication to making your startup a success.
- During our selection process we are looking primarily at the founders not the idea. Do you have the motivation, belief and skills to drive your startup forward? Do not apply unless you really believe in yourself and your fellow founders. A great team can survive a weak idea but even the best idea won’t survive a weak team.
- An ideal startup would have two or three founders with a range of backgrounds, skills and experiences. We will consider applications from founders who have got no further than having an idea to those who have spent a year bootstrapping their company.
- We will consider applications from anyone from anywhere but we need to see a commitment to live in Bristol during the programme and if successful, to keep the company based in Bristol during the next stage.
Webstart Bristol is the brainchild of Bristol based entrepreneur Mike Jackson. Since selling his previous company and moving to Bristol from London in 2005 Mike has looked at many different investment opportunities. With a strong tech background having built and run web sites for Microsoft since 1994, Mike saw that investing in a single app or web service can be very high risk.
Reading an article about the original Silicon Valley Internet Incubator, Y-Combinator, in 2011 convinced him that this was the safest route for investing. He then found that existing UK based incubators were mainly in London and required investment through a funding vehicle, not directly into the startups themselves, making it difficult for investors to benefit from the all important SEIS tax relief.
With the establishment of the Engine Shed, Mike saw that Bristol now had the perfect venue for an internet incubator and after assembling a team of top Bristol based mentors and business advisors, Webstart Bristol was born.
Mike is the full time mentor in residence and is determined to make Webstart Bristol the best internet incubator in the UK.