New “fintech” accelerator for Leeds

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A new hub is being established in Leeds for financial technology businesses.

The Dotforge “fintech” accelerator, which aims to be up and running in early 2015, is expected to lead to greater collaboration between entrepreneurs and businesses through programmes of funding and intensive business support. Business accelerator company Dotforge, working with Leeds and Partners, will deliver three programmes of investment and support over the next three years and will be seeking up to 10 businesses to receive £50,000 of first-round investment, with the potential for up to five to receive a further £50,000 to support their second round of investment raising. It’s expected that on top of the initial funding, the companies will attract a further £1m of funding from other investors in the first 18 months of the programme. The accelerator programme is expected to create more than 20 jobs over the first 12 months, a figure that could rise to 60 jobs in three years.

Lee Strafford, co-founder of Dotforge, said: “Our agenda is to build six accelerators across the north and to build and connect the technology and investment community. We want to connect the supply chain of talent across the whole of the north to add value. The two logical verticals for Leeds are absolutely fintech and medtech or digital health. The reasons we’re choosing Leeds is because there are a number of head offices here, but just as importantly, it has the back offices as well.”