Applications for our Virtual International Accelerator are now closed

Out of 1,058 applicants, 76 successfully joined our Accelerator.

Let us help you

Our goal is to help International Entrepreneurs build scaleable startups in the UK. This is because we believe entrepreneurship is one of the most powerful forces for good.

Also, we have a 100% track record of helping International Entrepreneurs get a UK Start-up and Innovator Visas 🙂

Why choose the Virtual International Accelerator?

Building a successful startup is very, very hard.

The people who will be working alongside you to ensure your startup is one of the 5% that succeeds are themselves International Entrepreneurs and Angel Investors (not Lawyers, Academics or Administrators).

If your startup becomes one of the 95% that fails, you will lose your visa and have to return home 🙁

What are our qualifications?

  • The VIA programme is run by Serial Entrepreneurs who have failed and succeed in building international businesses.
  • Coached and Mentored 1,000’s of International Entrepreneurs
  • Certified Experts in Lean Startup Methodologies
  • Lead Mentor is a former Silicon Valley VC Investor

The Startup Race has a strong reputation of helping Entrepreneurs build successful businesses

  • Coached and Mentored 1,000’s of International Entrepreneurs
  • We have built an International Community of nearly 1,000 Entrepreneurs and Angel Investors and run hundreds of Startup and Investor events over the past five years.

VIA Programme – Member Pitch Videos

More Information:

The Startup Race Ltd is an approved endorsing body for the UK Home Office Startup and Innovator Visas. It will endorse candidates in the Virtual International Accelerator programme who can demonstrate that the business they want to establish in the UK is Innovative, Viable and Scalable. However, endorsement for a Startup or Innovator Visa is not guaranteed.

The Virtual International Accelerator Programme uses methods that have been designed to help Entrepreneurs prove that their startup idea is Innovative, Viable and Scalable; rather than just a work of creative imagination.

The Virtual International Accelerator is available in Edinburgh, the Capital City of Scotland, which is a world renowned centre of education, research, innovation, technology and startup activity.

Entrepreneurs can also benefit from our Virtual International Accelerator programme from elsewhere in the UK or in their home country due to the use of video conferencing technology.

The programme is two years in length and participants are required to participate in forty weekly sessions each year with other participants and The Startup Race acceleration team.

Benefits of the Virtual International Accelerator Programme:

  • Retain 100% of Your Equity – Unlike other Startup Accelerators, there is a 0% equity option available which means you can retain full ownership of your startup and still benefit from the programme
  • Global Connections – The Startup Race is led by experienced entrepreneurs with global connections, including those in Silicon Valley. Experienced, world-class, globally minded acceleration team from the Startup Race will lead the programme.
  • Speed to Market – The programme will reduce the time it takes you to relocate into the UK and get your idea into the marketplace so you can rapidly start to grow your business.
  • Strong Entrepreneur Ecosystem – The programme is based in Edinburgh, the Capital of Scotland which birthed two recent Unicorns, has the world’s oldest Angel Syndicate and has world-class centers of education, research and innovation.
  • Affordable Office Space – Through our affiliation with various co- working and incubation spaces in Edinburgh, we will assist you in securing affordable office space, co-working spaces, hot desks and the like in central Edinburgh.
  • Lean Startup Methodologies – Our programme provides you with a unique and proprietary Lean Startup system developed over years by The Startup Race that will enable you to accelerate the growth of your startup.
  • Weekly mentoring sessions – Learn and grow with fellow Entrepreneurs through our weekly face- to- face mentoring session in Edinburgh or online
  • Introductions – We introduce you to our respected supporters such as early stage grant programmes, business angel investors, venture capitalists,  lawyers, bankers, accountants, human resource consultants, academics, and researchers in Scotland.
  • A Warm Welcome – We have been building an inclusive and diverse entrepreneurial community in Edinburgh called the League of Entrepreneurs, which now has over 800 members from all around the world and meets monthly in central Edinburgh.
  • A Global Network – You will receive complimentary lifetime membership in the League of Entrepreneurs on Slack which is a global network made up of successful Entrepreneurs and Investors
  • Business Formation – We will provide assistance with business incorporation, shareholders agreements, and registration of a Scottish based company in the UK.
  • Rapid integration – We can help you rapidly integrate into the Edinburgh and other UK entrepreneurial ecosystems.
  • Visa Endorsements – We have been authorised to initially endorse twenty five Entrepreneurs who are seeking Startup and Innovation Visas from the UK Home Office.
  • Housing Support – We can assist and advise you in finding housing, transportation, schooling, and medical services such as a Doctor.
  • Translation Services – We can provide language assistance and translation if needed.


In order to qualify for the Virtual International Accelerator programme, you / and your team will need to relocate to the United Kingdom and base your business here. Your business concept needs to be innovative, viable and scalable. Your business idea should be one that will create jobs in the United Kingdom, and the ability to expand globally into multiple markets.

Note to Entrepreneurs and Innovators Seeking Visa Endorsement Letters

The Virtual International Accelerator programme includes the possibility of receiving an Endorsement Letter for a Startup or Innovator Visa at no additional charge.

However, Visa Endorsement is not guaranteed because the Home Office require us to assess participants to ensure that the ‘Innovative, Viable and Scalable’ qualifications have been met. One of the other conditions of Visa endorsement is that you have not started a company in the UK before.

The final decision as to whether a Visa will be issued is up to the Home Office.

Services Available:

The Virtual International Accelerator programme can help you access the following services from our trusted suppliers.

  • Translation services (into English)
  • Language training (English)
  • Startup data and metrics assistance
  • Pitch reviews (Sales, Business Development and Investment-related pitches)
  • Executive Summary review
  • Pitch video review
  • Business plan review
  • Weekly consultations and acceleration meeting (1X a week, 40 weeks required for Startup and Innovator Clients)
  • Annual reviews and reporting
  • “Lean Startup” methodology consultations
  • Investment Readiness training and development
  • Coaching sessions (executive development)
  • Strategy consultation
  • Human resource consultation introductions
  • Recruiting advice and introductions to local sources of talent, and executive recruiters
  • Linkedin training referrals
  • Social media presence review and recommendations
  • Website review and recommendations
  • Introductions to local networks such as meetup and tech groups
  • 2-year access to the global League of Entrepreneurs (LoE) Slack group and its resources
  • 2-year free access to League of Entrepreneurs and Angel Investment Meetup group events in Edinburgh
  • Accounting and finance professionals referrals and recommendations
  • Access to capital and potential investors, including introduction to UK-based business angels, angel investors, crowdfunding platform representatives, and venture capitalists as warranted
  • Intellectual property protection assistance
  • Help meeting government regulations
  • Help with import/export laws
  • Patent, Trademark and Copyright assistance and referrals
  • Help obtaining business and driver’s licenses
  • Incorporation advice and referrals
  • Legal professional referrals
  • Economic development advice and organization referrals
  • Cultural training
  • Immigration and visa assistance and referrals
  • Startup and Innovation Visa Endorsement
  • Housing and relocation assistance

The above services will be further detailed in the Services Agreement, which will be customized for each individual client.

Blue UK Passport

The Virtual International Accelerator programme fees: 

  • Our programme fees range from £7,000 – £10,000 annually depending on how much equity you sell to us (max 1.2%).
  • We offer a number of payment plans to help you manage your budget
  • Our extensive support means you do not have to pay any Immigration Lawyer.
  • Minimum Contract Period: 2 years
  • Engagement sessions: 40 weeks per year (required)
  • There is no extra charge to write a Start-up or Innovator Visa endorsement letter 🙂