Accelerator backing for start-ups

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A NEW programme to support start-up businesses across the Sheffield City Region was launched during the MADE Festival.

The scheme, named dotforge accelerator, will offer intensive mentoring and coaching from experienced entrepreneurs, as well as investing £25,000 of private venture capital in each new venture. It has attracted investment from Creative England and local private sector investors, including broadband service provider Ask4, which is based in Sheffield.

The start-up accelerator is one of several strands in the Sheffield City Region’s CloudCity UK programme, which aims to bring the benefits of digital technologies to the City Region’s economy. Dotforge accelerator will run two accelerator programmes in 2013, with a view to establishing a longer term programme in the future.

Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) chairman James Newman unveiled dotforge accelerator at the third annual MADE, a festival promoting entrepreneurship in Sheffield.

Mr Newman said: “This programme will give digital leaders of tomorrow the mentoring, support and capital they need to get their ideas and technologies off the ground. The LEP recognises the potential of the creative and digital sector in creating sustainable employment and stimulating economic growth for the City Region.”

Jim Farmery, Creative England director of business development, said: “Creative England is delighted to be supporting the accelerator programme. I can’t wait to see what exciting and unexpected directions the startup businesses will take.” Visit