We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for a Hustle Award, Outstanding Startup Supporter of the year! Run by Startups magazine, the awards celebrate start-ups and those that work within the start-up ecosystem, to support, invest and collaborate. We’ve worked to support start-ups and small businesses for many years, providing them with targeted support to help them scale, increase revenue and create greater impact.
For more information, read our award entry below. We’ll be at the Hustle Awards ceremony on 20th July, to celebrate with some truly inspiring start-ups and organisations in the space (and fingers crossed we walk off with the bling!).
Allia is dedicated to supporting founders and business owners to develop and grow their start-ups and succeed. Whether it is the next tech for good solution that could help to mitigate climate change or a local retail business that is struggling as their town becomes gentrified and they fear getting priced out, every venture we support benefits from our full attention and dedication to help them to thrive and survive. We call this support amplifying impact – we want to help start-ups to do more, do better and on a greater scale – in order to create jobs that benefit the local community as well as solutions that benefit the planet.
Traditional start-up ecosystems can be so focused on ROI and financial returns that the goals and values of the fledgling business can be overlooked, or worse, restricted. As a social enterprise ourselves, we prioritise positive impact, so we are able to help ventures create a path to commercial viability while changing the world for good.
Our programmes are equity free; there is no cost or hidden fees – our programmes are funded so that we can provide the best support and make it accessible to all, whatever background or location the venture comes from. We also give free co-working space to encourage collaboration and peer network building at our Future Business Centres. And while we focus on the environment and social innovation – helping impact ventures through our Accelerators, and weaving sustainability into all of our programme content, we strive to support different types of venture – not just for bright young entrepreneurs or tech start-ups. Our programmes provide support for every stage of a business’s growth journey – from Start Your Business where people with an early stage idea can learn how to prove it, test and iterate; to Grow Your Business which helps a fledgling start-up get on the right track to grow; our Accelerators which give six months of bespoke support and mentoring to help ventures achieve their impact goals; plus our impact fund which provides a novel impact investment vehicle – where the revenue participation agreement allows ventures to balance commercial growth with impact on society.
And the story doesn’t end when the programme stops. We continue our support and maintain our relationship with the ventures building an alumni network that offers discounts for co-working and other services (such as meeting room hire or events space) at our workspaces, continuing to share opportunities and updates, plus invites to social events and workshops. At our recent Green Business Seminars, we booked one of our programme alumni to provide all of the catering for the events, and regularly invite founders to present workshops in our start-up communities so that they can broaden their networks and share their knowledge.
Helping hundreds of start-ups, small businesses and impact ventures to develop and grow
Allia has been at the forefront of impact innovation since 1999. In this time, we have helped hundreds of start-ups, small businesses and impact ventures to develop and grow, creating thousands of employment opportunities, supporting social & environmental innovation and transforming communities.
Venture support has been one of our key offerings for over a decade. We have an active team working in London, plus business advisors at our Future Business Centres in Cambridge and Peterborough – and these locations form the base for our start-up support ecosystems, though we also run national programmes such as our Accelerator Challenges in which we team up with strategic partners to work with impact start-ups across the UK. And as a successful growing organisation which is undergoing expansion, we have our sights set on other locations within the country where we can best build more impact start-up environments to widen our reach and support networks.
Over the years, we’ve supported over 2,000 ventures, which have gone on to create over 5,000 jobs, and our alumni have raised over £106 million through grants and investments.
In the last year alone, the ventures we’ve worked with have raised over £13 million. And what a busy year it’s been! We’ve run a total of 33 programmes in this time – in addition to our regular portfolio of Start & Grow Your Business programmes and Accelerators, we’ve held a Climate specific Accelerator for environmentally focused and Cleantech start-ups; several Green Business seminars advising ventures on how to become more eco-aware and sustainable in their practices; and a Cost Crisis seminar – helping businesses out with financial tips and money-saving ways.
We are currently running an Accelerator exclusively for Female Founders, which will run for six months with intensive support and training sessions for women co-founders in key leadership roles. Generally we actively recruit underrepresented groups and are proud that across our programmes over 50% of our founders are female – reaching as high as 67% in London. Also in London we’re delighted to say that for every £1 investment in our Grow Your Business programme that helps local established businesses, £8 is created in local boroughs, to benefit the local community.
Our venture support team is rich with experience and skills ideal to coach and help start-ups – with individuals who have decades of working in corporate and small business sectors, as well as venture capital – who have built relationships with hundreds of founders across Europe throughout their business journeys. Finally, the impressive array of experienced mentors on Allia’s programmes come from a variety of professional backgrounds, have diverse skills and specialties offering valuable advice and coaching to the founders.
We bring founders together
From investment and funding opportunities, coaching and mentoring, to collaboration with global networks, the start-ups in our ecosystem benefit from our support and from introductions to our own strategic network of contacts.
When founders join our programmes, they are met with a friendly and vibrant community of like-minded people who are all working towards creating greater positive impact. They join an ecosystem of support – the founder journey can be a lonely one, so we help create lasting relationships with our programme cohorts and tenants at our Future Business Centres so that they know they are not alone. We bring founders together in an environment where they can talk about their challenges, share real life experiences, and help each other build networks and collaborate. Cohorts receive 1-1 opportunities with skilled business advisors to tackle individual challenges and work through ways to overcome these hurdles.
Most importantly, Allia’s strategic partners that help us deliver our programmes can introduce start-ups to a global network of resources and support – such as Allia being the first UK organisation to work with leading European climate initiative EIT Climate-KIC on its Climate Accelerator. Part of the programme is enabling introductions to a global network of investors, supporters and partners. All of our Accelerators end in a pitch day, where experienced fund managers, business angels and corporate investors hear the ventures showcase their business cases and solutions.
Early stage start-ups on some of our programmes benefit from free workspace at our centres – taking them from their kitchen table or shed to an innovation community where they can step up, network and grow their business in a professional business environment. In addition to tenants in our centre receiving free business support, our programme cohorts benefit from the workspace too – and often are given free meeting room space (as well as lots of free coffee on the go!). And as part of our alumni community, ventures are given access to a platform with exclusive discounts from helpful systems such as Hubspot, Typeform and Mailchimp.
This, together with the 1-1 business support from Allia’s advisors, the introductions to investors and funders, plus resources and workspace, means that the benefits to start-ups move with them from the start, through their impact journey, and help them to achieve real positive growth and change.
Hear from the Allia Community
“Allia has been an amazing support to my journey, thank you for always supporting women, and encouraging more female entrepreneurship!” – Elissa Brunato, Radiant Matter – biodegradable sequins, recently collaborated with Stella McCartney with the world’s first bio-luminescent / degradable sequin garment.
“The Allia team has been really brilliant from start-to-finish. They always made time for us and made exceptional listeners and sounding boards. They regularly surprised us with thoughtful introductions out of the blue – to highly relevant mentors, industry leaders and investors.” Sean Donnelly, Ripples – supported by over 200 banks and credit cards, Ripples rounds up card payments and donates to charity.
“Allia brings the rigour and structure of a Silicon Valley accelerator to UK Social Impact start-ups, creating powerful impact points for founders to maximise success in launching their company.” – Rav Roberts, medsii – personalized medicine and wellness
“We highly recommend this programme to start-ups who want to grow quickly, with impact. Allia has strong values and dedication to supporting ventures, so whilst there’s a focus on growth there’s also a very strong drive to making the world a better place – a clear differentiator from other programmes which don’t allow enough space for founders to innovate.” Rachel Flower, Active Orbit, activity tracking app that gives rewards & encouragement
“Allia has been with us through our journey from providing us initial mentorship through to moving in to its Cambridge centre. Not many organisations in the UK would be able to provide this level of support as your company scales up from 2-30.″ – Sachin Shende, KisanHub, award-winning agritech supply chain software
Read more about the Hustle Awards shortlist here.