Some of Scotland’s brightest entrepreneurs are preparing to graduate from Elevator’s latest Accelerator programme, an intensive 12-week initiative designed to help catapult each into business growth and success.
Held at Elevator’s Centre of Entrepreneurship in Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth, participants - known as founders - are matched with mentors to guide them through the programme, helping them to propel their business ideas and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit.
Additionally, experienced business leaders present to the cohort each week and share their own invaluable experience and insight on themes including idea validation, market opportunity sizing, financial modelling, goal setting, growth and exit strategies.
During graduation later this month, founders will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to an audience of supporters and potential investors.
Aberdeen’s participants are driving technology-enabled ideas around our ageing society, clean growth, the future of mobility or the increased use of AI and data.
Among the future ‘ones to watch’ is Nexves, an app which sits on top of any existing current account to provide bigger rewards, make data intelligent to help users save money and influence their wealth.
Chris Herd, founder of Nexves, said: “The Accelerator programme has been really interesting. It has exposed our team to opportunities, workshops and people I would have never encountered. It has also helped us realise that there is a business to business application for Nexves, information which was shared with us after speaking to a number of the largest traditional British banks.”
Dundee’s first Accelerator programme launched in September 2017 at the Centre of Entrepreneurship located on the University of Dundee’s campus, the result of a unique partnership between Elevator and the University.
It aims to drive innovation within businesses and commercialise new and existing technologies across sectors including life sciences, digital media, gaming and other creative sectors.
Designer and developer duo, Barry White and Michael Carr from GoRoadie, a driving instructor comparison site which enables learners to find their perfect instructor, were attracted to take part in the Accelerator programme to help support their UK growth goals.
Barry explained: “The Accelerator programme has been better and more challenging than we expected, we have been completely blown away and inspired by the other innovators taking part. Working in collaboration, speaking to and hearing from other key contacts and industry experts is driving our plans forward, pushing us to focus on the right things for our business.”
A third group is taking part in the Famous Grouse Idea Centre (FGIC) Accelerator powered by Elevator at the AK Bell Library in Perth. This is designed to support and encourage ambitious creative businesses to flourish in the creative industries - one of Scotland’s most prosperous and promising economic sectors.
Among those taking part is Searra Dodds, founder and creative director of Jukebox Labs and chair of the recent Women in Tech event in Glasgow.
Searra said: “We have created a live quiz platform which enables media companies, venues, events and sports teams to create and run live trivia competitions which can be played for engagement, data gathering, revenue generation and customer acquisition.
“Participating in the Accelerator programme has reinforced our vision – we want to put trivia into the hands of every business, organisation, band and team in the world. Trivia is one of the most popular game types in the world - it can be used for entertainment, user engagement and education, but no one offers companies the ability to create and run their own games. Jukebox Labs wants to be the company which changes that.”
Accelerator manager Andy Campbell said: “Our flagship programme is proven to help ambitious and forward-thinking entrepreneurs unlock their growth, investment and international potential. Over the 12 weeks we challenge and support our founders to think about their businesses differently, and apply the lessons and insights demonstrated to their organisation.
“As they become the latest members of Scotland’s thriving entrepreneurial community, they will be armed with the tools they need to really excel and turn their ambitions into achievements.”
Applications for Elevator’s next cohort are now open. To find out more and register your interest, please visit: https://www.elevatoruk.com/