By Daniel Hunter

Entrepreneur First, the not-for-profit programme created to help talented UK graduates create their own tech startups is building on the success of its first year by expanding the scheme.

Applications to join the organisation’s second intake are now open.

With the inaugural Entrepreneur First cohort of 30 graduates now building a diverse range of startups, ranging from e-commerce to enterprise software via robotics, the search is on to find the next cohort of aspiring founders from universities across the UK.

The first stage is completing a simple online application with a deadline for submission of 4th January 2013.

After the first year of the programme, Entrepreneur First is expanding the programme to support a larger group of startup founders. The expanded programme will aim to reach 100 graduates, giving even more ambitious university leavers the chance to find talented co-founders and develop disruptive ideas. The core aims of the programme remain the same: encouraging talented university leavers to consider entrepreneurship as a career choice, helping them form a team and develop their ideas, and to provide expert advice and support.

Entrepreneur First will continue to work closely with many of the UK’s top names in tech to deliver the training programme: established entrepreneurs such as Betfair founder Ed Wray and Wonga founder Errol Damelin; leading London investors such as celebrated angel Sherry Coutu; and young stars of Tech City including GoCardless co-founder Matt Robinson and Songkick co-founder Pete Smith.

Up to 100 graduates will be recruited to take part in the summer stage of the programme, which will focus on supporting the participants to build teams, while also giving them the chance to experiment with ideas and work alongside some of the UK’s top startups. The most exciting teams will then progress to the full-time accelerator stage, beginning in September 2013, with access to expert mentoring, training and a wide range of resources including office space and legal support.

“Since we founded Entrepreneur First we have been constantly amazed at the skills and proven entrepreneurial flair of the graduates leaving our universities," Matt Clifford, CEO of Entrepreneur First, commented.

"We have seen some fantastic ideas and startups come out of the inaugural Entrepreneur First cohort and we are delighted that we have been able to expand the programme in our second year, giving us the chance to help more of the country’s most talented graduates to pursue their ambitions of creating their own high-growth startups.

“We have been working closely with the inaugural cohort and they have now launched some hugely exciting companies based on ideas we’ve seen grow and develop over the past year. To see this group of 30 graduates learning, sharing ideas, building confidence and gaining experience together has been very exciting. There is no better time to begin your career as an entrepreneur than when you first graduate from university and we’d encourage anyone who would one day like to create a high-growth startup to visit our site and find out more.”

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness