Applications closed

Black Founders Programme

In collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment UK

Watch the journey of the cohort

Get your startup investment ready

The FutureScope Black Founders Programme is a 16-week accelerator targeted at pre-seed or seed stage, Black-founded companies creating innovative products and services in the digital entertainment industry.

The aim of the programme is to fast track high-growth potential startups from a business and investment perspective, providing the support needed to increase their investment readiness level.

Sony Music UK is a collaboration partner for this programme and will play an active role in supporting business growth & facilitating connections where possible.

Applications for the programme have now closed.

Why we are launching this programme

Black startup founders receive dramatically lower venture capitalist investments than their peers, receiving 0.2% of overall funding. (Source – Diversity Beyond Gender By Erika Brodnock Co-founder and Head of Research, Extend Ventures)

Between 2009 and 2019, only 38 businesses run by Black entrepreneurs received venture capital. (Source – Sifted)

The share of funding received by Black founders also decreases during the various stages of investment compared to other ethnicities – from 1.9% at seed stage, to 0.5% at later stages. (Source – Diversity Beyond Gender By Erika Brodnock Co-founder and Head of Research, Extend Ventures)

To account for the lack of VC capital, the majority (88%) of Black founders financed their companies using their own money or by receiving funding from family and friends. (Source – Sifted)

Programme Benefits

Get investment ready

The programme will increase a startup’s investment readiness level through tailored support.

Create new opportunities

The programme will open the door to new conversations with investors and potential partners within the digital entertainment industry

Build new connections

The programme will help build a support network for each startup’s business journey

No fees and a financial contribution to cover costs

Applying to and participating in FutureScope is free.

To offset costs to a business by participating in the programme, each startup will receive an equal share of £30,000 pot as a financial contribution towards completing the programme. This also includes additional support from ‘Musiio by SoundCloud’.

Supported by

Programme Partner

  • Sony Music Entertainment UK

    About Sony Music Entertainment UK

    Sony Music’s story began in 1887 with the formation of Columbia Records – the oldest surviving label in the recording industry.

    Today, Sony Music comprises a variety of record labels devoted to every genre of music, from rock and pop to classical, hip hop and R&B. They seek out the industry’s best artists and executives to create world-class music and audio entertainment.

    In the UK, Columbia, RCA, Ministry of Sound, Since ’93, Relentless, Black Butter, Insanity, 5K Records, Robots + Humans, WEAREBLK, Music For Nations and The Orchard are part of the Sony Music family and represent a hugely diverse roster of artists.

    They are joined by Commercial Group, home to our catalogue, merchandise and family division Magic Star and 4th Floor Creative, which comprises Brand Partnerships, Sync, Visual Creative, Podcasting, Digital and Audience Development.

    Sony Music Entertainment UK is part of Sony Music Group, a global recorded music and publishing company, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. The company represents a vast global catalogue, including some of the most important recordings in history.

    The Chairman and CEO of Sony Music UK & Ireland is Jason Iley.

    Read more about Sony Music’s commitment to social justice through the UK Social Justice Fund here

Black Founders Programme Who's Involved

Discover the partners and people supporting our Black Founders programme. From consultants, mentors to supporters to supporters and partners.

Black Founders Programme FAQs

If you have any questions about the programme, some may be answered in our FAQs

FutureScope is delivered by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology.