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Accelerated: The U.K.’s Springboard gets on and does stuff

This is the 20th article in a continuing series that examines the state of the ecosystem necessary to successfully bring technology to market. Based on dozens of interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, business leaders, academics, tech-transfer experts and policy makers, this series looks at what is working and what can be improved in the go-to-market ecosystem in the United States, Canada and Britain. We invite your feedback.

By Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

Throughout this series, we have often referenced startup accelerators and the important role they play in the commercialization ecosystem, as well as where government support fits into the equation. So we thought it was time to take a closer look at these entities by profiling three different ones from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.

We caught up recently with Jon Bradford, the man behind The Difference Engine and Springboard, two U.K.-based startup accelerators that took their inspiration from TechStars and Y Combinator in the U.S. The Difference Engine was an initiative supported by public funds that launched in the north east of England two years ago. The goal was to address the lack of quality VC deal flow for startup technology companies and prove, as TechStars had in Boulder, CO, that an accelerator didn’t have to be based in a high-tech hotspot such as Silicon Valley, or even a major city.

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