SCOTLAND is set to get its first “digital business accelerator” in a move designed to tap into its wealth of start-ups and spin-outs.
Entrepreneurs Danny Meaney and Paul Gillooly are simultaneously launching dedicated accelerators under their UP brand in Edinburgh and Manchester.
The duo say investors are keen to build links with the “wealth of talent” available beyond London, where valuations are becoming prohibitive.
Meaney, who developed the concept based on his experience of running a chain of incubators and knowledge of the TechCity development in London, said the two cities are the most promising locations for “techmedia”.
He said: “We’ve taken the very best bits of the very best accelerators around the world, and then we’ve added a completely new set of features that the start-ups will benefit from.
“These include partners hungry for product and ready to invest significant funding in the right businesses, a unique and radical business knowledge development programme, and a relational investment process that means the start-up entrepreneurs are going to be developing genuine face-to-face relationships with their likely investors from day one.”
UP will be based in the Creative Exchange, Leith, and the Greenhouse MediaCityUK. It is taking applications for the first 100-day programme starting in October. It is seeking businesses with a prototype, early stage product, service or platform “with the potential to grow significantly”.
The company has partners from the technology and financial sectors, including BT, Channel 4, Microsoft, Panmure Gordon and Silicon Valley Bank. Backers include Edinburgh City Council and Creative England.