One of Scotland’s largest enterprise support companies is putting 28 entrepreneurs from 11 start-ups through their paces in the north-east’s first business “accelerator” programme.
Elevator’s development scheme is aimed at helping start-ups with global potential reach the stage where they are ready to put their products on the market and secure funding.
Businesses selected for the rigorous 20-week programme, which runs twice a year, are effectively given the keys to Elevator’s £1million Centre for Entrepreneurship in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, opened late last year.
Billed as a beacon for entrepreneurship, the centre boasts ultra-modern seminar and meeting rooms, interactive video conferencing, whiteboard technology and some of the fastest broadband facilities.
As well as being handed free use of the centre, the entrepreneurs are hooked up with a host of mentors and global industry experts who offer guidance on their business models through a series of workshops and presentations.
The start-ups are at various stages of development. While some have already started trading, none is turning over more than £1million a year.
For the most part, their ranks are made up of businesses focused on energy. One such company, GeoDirk, says it can provide twice as much information from seismic inter-well data than anyone else, saving energy companies huge amounts of money on exploration.
Energy is expected to become the centre’s main specialism but, to avoid being pigeonholed, the Elevator programme also finds room for start-ups from other spheres, including healthcare and online retail.
Pinnacle Visualisation, a software company that create 3D images for the construction industry, and online property sales business SYOP are also on board.
Elevator chief executive Gary McEwan said: “Elevator has a clear objective of assisting entrepreneurs in reaching their goals and we are delighted to welcome the first cohort of founders on the Elevator programme.”