Call for mentors from Elevator to help drive fast growth entrepreneurs

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Professor Gary McEwan

One of Scotland’s leading social enterprises dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups and high growth businesses, is calling on experienced business leaders to sign up as mentors for ambitious entrepreneurs in Tayside and Grampian.

Elevator, which has bases in Aberdeen and Dundee, is looking for around 60 mentors with expertise in sales, technical, marketing, legal, financial, investors, HR and talent management to enhance its latest Accelerator Programme, which is currently in the process of recruiting ‘founders’ for Cohort 3.

Elevator’s Accelerator Programme is an intensive 12-week programme for ambitious early-stage business owners and teams seeking to improve their business offering, growth and investment potential at an accelerated rate. It covers different entrepreneurial themes each week from business models and goal setting, identifying new markets and opportunities to intellectual property, scale, growth and exit strategy.

Launched in 2015 and run within Elevator’s Centre for Entrepreneurship in Aberdeen, it allows successful candidates to test, research, develop, launch and refine their products or service-led business to become market and investor ready.

Mentors are a key component in the delivery and success of the Programme, in turn helping to shape the future development of leading businesses in the regions.

Elevator CEO Professor Gary McEwan said: “Mentors are usually individuals with deep industry, investment or entrepreneurship experience, and they work with companies voluntarily, sharing their knowledge and guidance freely, and opening their networks where appropriate.

“Since the Accelerator founders have historically been diverse, just like the start-up community in the region in general – we are looking for a broad range of diverse mentors – diversity is key.”

Mentors will liaise directly with the founders through one-to-one sessions offering honest and constructive feedback on all aspects of the business.

Scottish enterprise Chairman, Bob Keiller, is a partner and key mentor on the Accelerator Programme.

“If you have received mentoring yourself you can really appreciate the transformational value it can have personally and to your business through its life cycle,” he said.

“To be a good mentor, you need to take on the responsibility of nurturing an individual or team to grow and blossom by providing support, helping to bridge gaps and making connections. However, it can also be about challenging the entrepreneurs, being tough on them, and questioning their decisions. Dedicating time, passion, and recycling knowledge all add huge value to a business.”

Fiona McIntyre, of Aberdeen-based start-up Greyhope Bay, was one of 24 founders on Elevator’s last Accelerator Programme.

She said: “I benefited from the atmospheric and energetic space, the collaboration and dedicated support, which is second to none and has helped us push past challenges and move forward on our entrepreneurial journey. The face to face mentoring is a great opportunity to gain added business insight, sharing ideas with someone who has been there and done it.”

Cohort 3 of Elevator’s Accelerator Programme will begin on Tuesday 21st June. Those interested in becoming a Mentor can contact or call Simon Fraser on 01224 289713.

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