Sunderland City Council has partnered with global communications infrastructure provider, BAI Communications (BAI), and leading tech sector support organisation, Sunderland Software City, to launch an exciting new Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G accelerator programme. 

This is a unique opportunity for startups to join a programme that combines leading-edge infrastructure with IoT domain expertise and guidance from internationally renowned organisations.

Sunderland is at the forefront of the UK’s drive to create smart cities and the latest council led initiative is looking for startups to take part in the 6-week, Sunderland based accelerator. Successful applications will form a 10-team cohort that will each receive up to £10,000 grant funding.

The programme will be delivered by a team of experienced practitioners at Sunderland Software City. CEO, Dr. David Dunn, said, “We are seeking truly innovative startups to get involved in this unique opportunity. The accelerator is at no cost to the teams, and unlike many accelerators, no equity will be taken in return for participation, whilst the IP remains in full control of the teams involved.”

Billy D’Arcy, CEO of BAI UK, said, “Building on our strategic partnership with Sunderland City Council to roll out next generation digital infrastructure, we are delighted to support this pioneering new programme.

It will provide startups with a significant opportunity to participate and contribute to the scaling of the advanced smart city programme, helping Sunderland to remain at the forefront of innovation and achieve global competitiveness. We look forward to working with participants to build the expertise and relationships they need to bring their innovations to life.”

The teams will take part in a structured series of workshops, mentoring sessions with experts, pitch development and training, as well as benefiting from introductions to influential and valuable networking opportunities. The programme culminates in a showcase event to demonstrate their progress. Project themes are broad, but a focus on IoT challenges affecting skills and education, manufacturing and smart homes, will be considered favourably.

Liz St Louis, Assistant Director Smart Cities at Sunderland City Council, said, “We are in the enviable position of being one of the few cities in the UK that is equipped to host this kind of programme. We can offer the infrastructure needed to support and accelerate the progress of a group of businesses with this type of expertise. The programme underlines Sunderland’s commitment to being a forward-thinking and smart city.”

Applications are open from 4th July for teams based in the UK. The programme will begin in September, with expressions of interest invited now. Find out more: