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RGU unveil north-east entrepreneur support programme

By Alan Beresford

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A PROGRAMME to support early-stag entrepreneurs has been launched by a north-east university.

RGU have launched a new scheme to help north-east early-stage entrepreneurs.
RGU have launched a new scheme to help north-east early-stage entrepreneurs.

Robert Gordon University (RGU) has unveiled their Regional Startup Accelerator programme to help north-east entrepreneurs with ambitious and innovative business ideas to develop and grow their ventures, helping the region to recover as it emerges from the pandemic.

The programme is being funded by The Scottish Government, as part of the North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund (NEERSF), a £14.3 million investment to support economic recovery and enhance skill levels in the region though new economic growth, employment, training and skills development opportunities

Successful applicants to the Accelerator programme will have the opportunity to test their concepts and accelerate the development of their offering through valuable training, resources and guidance from industry mentors.

To help deal with start-up costs, there will also be an overall pot of equity-free seed funding and prizes of £250,000, supported through NEERSF and Opportunity North East (ONE). Teams will have access to co-working space and will participate in workshops in RGU’s Startup Station based in ONE Tech Hub in the heart of the city.

The programme is open to innovative applications from any sector. In the year of COP26, teams with a particular focus on net zero technologies or innovations will be particularly welcomed.

Donella Beaton, Vice-Principal for Business and Economic Development at RGU, commented: “We are thrilled to be delivering the Regional Accelerator Programme as part of the North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund.

“The region has a rich history of entrepreneurship and innovative thinking and this programme will allow even more early-stage entrepreneurs to access support, resources and funding to help them on their journey, all for the benefit of the north-east.

“We have a proven track record of delivering successful accelerator programmes through our Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, having supported 56 teams in the past three years which have gone on to create £1.6 million in economic impact through sales, jobs and investment. We are absolutely committed to working in partnership with key regional stakeholders to accelerate and add value to the economic development of the north-east.”

Jennifer Craw, chief executive of Opportunity North East, said: “Entrepreneurial business growth will be critical to accelerating recovery in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and diversifying our business base in the low-carbon economy. RGU has successfully worked with innovators on early-stage commercialisation for several years.

"ONE is pleased to be able to partner with the university to build on that foundation with seed funding, provided by the Scottish Government through NEERSF, that is so critical for start-ups to translate their ideas into scalable businesses.”

Applications for the Regional Startup Accelerator are now open and anyone wishing to submit must do so by Monday, January 9. More information on how to apply is available online at www.rgu.ac.uk/accelerator.

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