The world's largest community of entrepreneurs

The ones who change the world are those who know that progress isn’t made by the diligent functionaries, but rather the madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels and sceptics.

Yevgeny Zamyatin

Entrepreneurs are arguably the best problem solvers in the world; certainly they're a breed apart.  They are the world's innovators, seeing solutions others can't and taking uncertainty and risk in their stride. Even though the rate of start-ups began to slow in the last year, there is still significant investment, around $8 billion of venture capital, to be had.

But to attract that investment you need more than just a good idea. To be in that 1% of start-ups who succeed (with or without funding) you need education, collaboration and connectivity with a diverse network of your peers to make your dreams fly. How we recover from our pandemic is yet to be seen, but the best entrepreneurs will pick themselves up with fearlessness, energy and move forward.

How It Works

Startup Leadership Program (SLP) is a not-for-profit organisation which exists to support entrepreneurs on their path to success and make our world a better place. We place great emphasis on this because success is meaningless if you don’t give back. This is not a social program, but we’re on a social mission and we expect you to play your part. We charge a small fee to cover our costs and in return you get a world-class education and access to a network of classmates, mentors and former fellows whose expertise you can call on for the entirety of your career. Membership is for life.

Angie Madara

The biggest benefit from the program was the connections made with other founders. From the founders, I have made connections with potential investors, mentors and other programs that have positively impacted me and my business.

Angie Madara, Growd Global (SLP 2020)

Since opening its doors in Boston in 2006, Start-up Leadership Programme fellows have secured upwards of $700 million from leading investors. SLP's approach is different from the great raft of organisations – at the last count around 700 in the UK alone- offering support to entrepreneurs. These accelerators, incubators, corporate labs, mentor programmes and a never ending stream of 'gurus' promise the magic bullet, but in return they want to sell you their services and take equity in your business. We don't do that.

It's All On You

SLP doesn't believe in passive learning. Our programme leaders are experts who generously share their knowledge and experience but you run the classes. SLP's ethos is collaborative; we create a framework for you to learn from and exchange ideas with your co-founders but we won't spoon-feed you. Described by SLP Trustee Steven Hess as "entrepreneurial learning", you'll find on our site articles from previous fellows about classes as diverse as dealing with co-founders to hiring a lawyer. If you want to hear an expert speaker on your subject, you get them in. Our focus is on you, the entrepreneur, not your startup. Personal responsibility and collective accountability are what we're about.

Rajeeb Day

SLP provides a great opportunity to connect to entrepreneurs who are on the same journey as you. It gives you the chance to share the challenges you're facing with people who can relate to your situation as well as following a structured learning programme covering all aspects from hiring to funding and everything in between. If you're on the fence about whether to apply don't be – just do it!

Rajeeb Dey MBE, Founder of Enternships & CEO of Learnerbly (SLP 2013)

SLP harnesses the competitive spirit of entrepreneurs to get the best out of you. Each class is marked, each group is scored and at the end of the programme we share those scores with you. Friendly competition motivates founders to get the edge on their classmates and push them beyond where they think they can go. It's what makes our classes so sparky and inspiring and it works – the program team was rated 4.9 out of 5 by our 2020 graduates and 100% of evaluators recommend the program.


SLP is the first not-for-profit education program for entrepreneurs. Supporting our mission are the sponsors, mentors and returning fellows, people with serious credentials who freely give their time and talent as speakers, judges and friends. You’ll be learning from returning fellows who have founded breakthrough and award-winning start-ups including Lantum,, Nemi Teas, Frontline Ventures, Akoni to name but few. In return, we expect you to pay it forwards and use your talent, wealth or resources to help those less fortunate. SLP fellows are the gifted ones whose contributions can make the positive change we want to see in this world.


Making your mark in the world starts in the classroom and we expect significant involvement from all successful candidates. This is a hands-on program designed to activate your entrepreneurial engines from the moment we fire the starting pistol. Fellows are expected to co-construct and co-organise the program across all 18 classes, workshops, simulations and study groups. We expect all fellows to actively participate in the development and growth of this unique community and cross-pollinate ideas and innovations because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


Founded in 2006 in Boston by Anupendra Sharma, SLP began with seven fellows and has now educated over 4,000 entrepreneurs across 19 cities in 10 countries. SLP graduates have started over 1,700 companies raising more than $700M from the world’s leading investors and accelerators. SLP is truly global and each fellow has access to this world-wide multicultural network to gather intelligence, make new alliances and network with peers – for life.


The critical difference between SLP and other leadership programs is that we focus on you, the entrepreneur, rather than your start-up. Because it is you who generates the ideas, your energy which will launch them and your skill and tenacity which will make them grow. YOU are the resource. SLP is open to all but we are fiercely selective, looking for leadership, calibre, openness and the ability to contribute to our community. We carefully select the best class for each city so fellows benefit from diverse experiences and backgrounds in an open and supportive environment.


Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to have an early stage start-up – or at least a compelling idea for one – who are willing to commit themselves absolutely to this six-month intensive program of bi-weekly London classes, workshops, simulation and support starting in late September, 2020. Classes typically take place on a Monday evening with some study groups in between and several day-long events held on Saturdays.

We look for leadership capability, entrepreneurial or innovation experience or potential and a willingness to be an active member of our community. We are less interested in your success to date than you – your ambition, potential and your cultural fit with our mission will be the deciding factors. All applications will be scored by two SLP fellows and those who make it through the first stage will be invited to interview online with two SLP alumni. Successful applicants will be informed by 30th August, 2020.

Mat Westergreen-Thorne

It was great to be part of a community that is both ahead and behind you – I've never experienced that before and it was very fulfilling.

Dr Mat Westergreen-Thorne, Co-founder Grantify & Co-founder Luma West (SLP 2020)


SLP relies heavily on volunteers and sponsors to keep costs down and is able to offer the program in its entirety for a one-off fee of £495 which includes lifetime membership with access to mentors, experts, lawyers and investors as well as a network of over 4,000 fellow entrepreneurs. There are no hidden extras, obligations to buy any services or equity requirements. Despite the modest fee we recognise that some will struggle to meet the cost, so do please contact us to discuss ways of helping you make payments or indeed make a strong case for not paying. We will never turn away the exceptional.

Melissa Morris

SLP gave me a great grounding of all aspects of starting a company. The most valuable part for me was the people I met, many of whom I've stayed in contact with for years since.

Melissa Morris, founder and CEO Lantum (SLP 2012)