By DARA BUTTERFIELD
Eleven high-potential start-up businesses – mostly focused on the oil and gas sector – have embarked on the north-east’s first ever business accelerator programme in Aberdeen’s £1 million Centre for Entrepreneurship.
Elevator, which is situated in the city’s Energy Park, has enrolled 28 entrepreneurs on its innovative Elevator Programme at the prestigious centre.
The first group of programme founders will undertake an intense 20 week entrepreneurial experience to propel their businesses onto a high growth curve to become investor-ready.
Elevator created the Centre for Entrepreneurship, which is the first of its kind in Scotland, as part of its vision to build a robust entrepreneurial culture.
Elevator works across Tayside and Grampian to help facilitate the start-up and growth of new and existing businesses. Formerly known as Enterprise North East Trust, Elevator currently engages with 2,500 businesses and assists around 1,000 north-east organisations annually with start-up and growth support.
The centre boasts advanced technology which connects it to 55 global accelerator programmes, allowing entrepreneurs to participate in events and access help and advice on a worldwide scale.
Elevator Chief Executive Professor Gary McEwan was inspired to create the Aberdeen facility and the accelerator programme to replicate the support offered to entrepreneurs through world-class facilities including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston’s Babson College of Entrepreneurship and Activa in Barcelona.
Prof. McEwan said: “The Centre for Entrepreneurship is at the heart of developing an entrepreneurial eco system that will thrive in the future. 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.
“Each entrepreneur has a wealth of business ideas and skills in their chosen fields, and we will work closely with the group to develop their entrepreneurial enthusiasm, creating businesses that are investor ready and more prepared to propel their business on a global level in the future.”
The first intake of participants on the Elevator Programme (pictured above) are: Shane Jakeman and Andrew Rodda (Cade Tooling); Allan White and John Duncan (Skills@Work); Colin Rawlinson, Scottish Health Services; Lewis Vorenkamp (Caiman Software Development) Kenny and Lynsey Steele (Pinnacle Visualisation) Thibaut Rey (Synchronise IO) Jim Cargill (Plansea) Kevin Davidson (SYOP), and Joel Watt and John Turnball (Vistem Ltd).