Elevator launches business accelerators for students

Applications to participate in a business accelerator for university and college students, staff and graduates are being sought by business incubator Elevator ahead of the Monday 23 April deadline.

In collaboration with the University of Dundee, the accelerator for students will take place at the state-of-the-art Centre of Entrepreneurship, on the university campus, over 12 weeks – from 4 June to 31 August. The accelerator is opening to those at Abertay University, University of Dundee, University of St Andrews and D&A College.

The Aberdeen-based accelerator will take place over eight weeks – from 4 June to 26 July – and is open to those studying, working at, or who have recently graduated from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen University and NESCOL.

Applications for both accelerator programmes are open until Monday 23 April.

Success applicants, known as ‘Founders’, can expect to be immersed in a variety of entrepreneurial themes including; business modelling, goal setting, new market identification, missions and values, customer relationships and more.

Founders from both accelerators will participate in a three-day entrepreneurial boot camp, where they will be pushed out of their comfort zone and attempt to overcome physical and business-orientated challenges. Mixing business-based and outdoor activities will allow the participants to network with their peers in a unique setting and develop their professional and personal skills.

Each week, experienced entrepreneurs will present to the Founders and mentors with specific skill sets to match businesses will be appointed to each of the ambitious and innovative business owners and leaders.

On graduating from the Accelerator Programme, the new alumni will have enhanced their personal networks, understand their competitors, explored and validated their business idea and understand how to market and celebrate their success.

Professor Gary McEwan, chief executive of Elevator, said: “The summer Accelerator Programme will give students, staff and recent graduates from any of Dundee and Tayside’s universities and colleges a prime opportunity to explore that business idea they’ve always harboured ambition for.

“Founders will learn how to build a team and with a network of experienced entrepreneurs and mentors guiding them throughout the process, no participant will be alone. Founders will be challenged throughout the eight weeks but the results will speak for themselves.”

Laila Ibrahim, founder of Gradprentice and a recent graduate of the Dundee Accelerator, said: “The Accelerator programme is a terrific place to start for anyone who is new or seasoned in the business world.

“The support that I and everyone who attended the programme received was amazing. There were experts from different industries who came in to give us insight on how to utilise their support and they even provided us with one-to-one advice from legal, to design, technology and marketing. Everyone was eager to help us and we felt and knew that they genuinely wanted us to succeed.”

Brian McNicoll, enterprise and entrepreneurship manager at the University of Dundee, added: “Elevator’s bespoke accelerator programme hosted at the Centre of Entrepreneurship is a fantastic opportunity for students, staff and graduates to explore their potential and that of their prospective businesses. We’re looking forward to support the next business leaders and innovators from the various Tay Cities educational institutions to fulfil their entrepreneurial ambitions through this unique summer programme.”