About SLP

The Startup Leadership Program (SLP) is a highly selective, global, world-class training programme and lifelong global network for outstanding founders, leaders, and innovators who want to become startup CEOs. Classes are held on evenings or weekends. We take no equity.

The programme began in Boston in 2006 with seven Fellows (participants). It has grown to 28 cities in 14 countries. SLP Fellows (participants) have founded more than 2,000 successful startups, which have collectively raised more than $3.4B+ in funding. Many have been acquired. It is a measure of the caliber of the people in the programme. 

Our programme is truly global. You can start in one city, but attend any class in any city worldwide. During the programme, and for life, you can apply to pitch at investor demo days on three continents, and build relationships with growing numbers of entrepreneurs in your sector.


We are non-profit organisation which supports entrepreneurs on their path to success and to make our world a better place. We place great emphasis on this because success is meaningless if you don’t give back. The importance of giving back is a key shared value of SLP.


Selection Process

SLP thrives on being a diverse and inclusive community and we welcome entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. Unlike many accelerators each cohort will have a wide variety of people, all at different stages of their journey.

Every application is reviewed in detail and those who we believe will benefit from SLP and be able to provide value to the group will be invited for an interview. We believe in giving back and expect our fellows to do the same.

Some key areas we consider:

  • Commitment to your startup

  • Maturity of your product

  • Education history

  • Previous experience

  • Evidence of giving back

  • Social impact



SLP one-off fee of £350 includes lifetime membership with access to mentors, experts, lawyers and investors as well as a network of over 3,600 fellow entrepreneurs. In addition, SLP offers Gold Tier Rewards from F6s, as well as top grants from AWS. 

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.


SLP UK Board & Advisors


Zoe Peden is an experienced tech entrepreneur and VC investor for Ananda Impact Ventures. She co-founded one of the UK’s top grossing education apps, MyChoicePad and now spends her time looking for Europe’s most impactful tech entrepreneurs to invest in. Zoe is also a Visiting Lecturer at Cass Business School and SLP Fellow 2012. 


Aneesh Varma is the Founder & CEO of Aire, a venture-backed company that is a credit insight engine which makes credit fairer for consumers, and more valuable to lenders. Prior to Aire, he worked at FabriQate where he was a CEO and Co-founder. Aneesh has also worked at J.P Morgan, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. He is an expert in FinTech and IT solutions. He holds a degree in Engineering and Quantitative Finance. He is 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in London.

Zoe Peden

Board Member

Aneesh Varma

Board Member


Oleg Giberstein studied Politics and International Relations (BA and MPhil) in London and Oxford and subsequently worked in Banking and Risk roles at Citigroup London. In his last role at Citi, Oleg was Chief of Staff to Citi's Global Public Sector Portfolio Head. After launching his first startup Guidelighter, a career mentoring platform, Oleg helped build a Tech and Startup Ecosystem in Palestine for the Portland Trust before co-founding Coinrule, the most simple way for Hobby Investors to build automated trading strategies across different markets and platforms. He is 2017 fellow of the Startup Leadership Program in London.

Oleg Giberstein

Board Member 


Farid Haque

Board Advisor & Global Catalyst

Farid Haque is COO of Accenture's Growth Studio and Venture Partner at MTSAI’s $100M Deeptech fund. He cofounded AssetVault, a techstars-backed fintech company and Erly Stage Studios, a niche publisher and technology studio, was CEO of Startup Britain and has held positions at LEGO, Schlumberger, Accenture, and Barclays in the UK. He served as Programme Lead for the Startup Leadership Programme (SLP) in London from 2012 to 2013 and has been involved in supporting the program since. He holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto. Farid has lived and worked in over 10 countries and currently resides in London.


Anupendra Sharma

Founder, SLP & Board Member

Anupendra Sharma founded the Startup Leadership Program in Boston in 2006, the world's first global accelerator. In addition he serves as an advisor or investor to startups in lifesciences / medtech / software and Cornell’s McGovern Incubator. He spent seventeen years at Siemens. For eleven years, he was Senior Investment Partner at Siemens Venture Capital / Next47 investing in the US and Asia. Anupendra holds an MBA from Cornell, Masters in Accounting & Finance from Manchester Business School, and Masters in Economics and Bachelors of Instrumentation Engineering from BITS Pilani.

Notable Contributors to SLP UK

Joysy John

Joysy John founded the London Chapter of SLP in 2011 and served on the Board for 10 years. Joysy built a great foundation with the first class of entrepreneurs, who went on to start companies as well as become well known investors in the UK ecosystem. She is an entrepreneur, advisor and global speaker with an MBA from the London Business School. 

Steven Hess

Without the dedication and commitment of Steven Hess, SLP would not be where it is today. For 10 years he was the driving force behind SLP in the UK. He was a Founding Trustee Director and a Programme Lead for SLP UK. During the decade of his involvement as Trustee and Programme Leader at The Startup Leadership Program, he helped grow the UK footprint of the global not-for-profit to 160 start-ups, 2,000 local jobs and $158M in raised capital.

Wenqian Chen

Wen is an SLP Fellow who ran operations for SLP for years, before moving to Singapore in 2021. Wen is an Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore, conducting research in lifesciences. He truly lives and breathes the SLP values.

Past Program Leaders

2011 Joysy John and Barath Subramanian 
2012 Farid Haque, Adam Davies & Itxaso del Palacio
2013 Sreekanth Kanthamneni, Itxaso del Palacio & Sam Patel
2014 Sreekanth Kanthamneni, Hugo Macedo & Romain Eude
2015 David Townson & Steven Hess 
2016 Steven Hess, Wen Chen & Juan Guerra
2017 Steven Hess, Wen Chen & Zipporah Gatti
2018 Steven Hess & Wen Chen
2019 Steven Hess & Wen Chen
2020 Dan Blake, Wen Chen, Alex Ramamurthy, Emilia Gyoerk, Kaitlin Fritz & Wai Ng