A selection of UK start-ups, including more than a dozen north of the Border, are to share a combined six-figure sum awarded by business accelerator programme Entrepreneurial Spark.
ESpark, which says it is the world’s largest free business accelerator for early-stage and growing ventures, and has hatcheries in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ayrshire, announced today its awarding of £255,000 at its Entrepreneuring Awards.
The awards took place in partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Ulster Bank, KPMG and EMC, in eight of the business accelerator’s nine hatchery locations across the UK, with Glasgow and Ayrshire entrepreneurs joining together for the night.
ESpark said the awards honour “the #GoDo journey of entrepreneurs across the UK”, recognising the hard work and determination of fledgling businesses, known as “chiclets”, across the country.
There were three categories of awards: the #GoDoAward of £3,000, Acceler8 award of £7,000 and Entrepreneur of the Moment, who bags £10,000 and is seen as building a sustainable new product or service that has potential to go global.
One Entrepreneur of the Moment was chosen in each hatchery, with the respective winners across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ayrshire revealed as Kieran Kelly at data-tracking firm arc-net, Dianne Teo, founder of international fitness company Fatburn Extreme, and holiday home management company Pillow founded by Scott Weir.
Gordon Merrylees, head of entrepreneurship at RBS and NatWest, said: “Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the UK economy and the wealth creators, so it’s really important we give them the right support, access to appropriate expertise knowledge and networks.
“These awards are a fantastic celebration of [ESpark’s] enablement and focus, the superb collaboration across the local ecosystems and the ‘always on’ hard-working resilience the entrepreneurs display in each hatchery.”
ESpark co-founder and chief entrepreneuring officer Lucy-Rose Walker said: “The awards give our chiclets an opportunity to celebrate their #GoDo journey and make plans on how to accelerate growth in their remaining time within the programme and beyond.
“Testament to our commitment to grow, with three new hatcheries opening in August, our next Entrepreneuring Awards will take place across 12 locations throughout the country, with a prize fund of almost £350,000.”