Business accelerator programme Entrepreneurial Spark (ESpark) and IT firm EMC have joined forces to create a free nationwide programme for tech start-ups that they say represents the largest of its kind in the UK.
Cloud computing and “big data” specialist EMC will be providing training, coaching and mentorship to the thousands of entrepreneurs being supported by the incubator network, backed by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
EMC will add to various initiatives providing extra support for tech start-ups, including working closely with the Open Experience, RBS’s new technology solutions centre at its Gogarburn headquarters.
Ross Fraser, vice-president and managing director of EMC for the UK and Ireland, told The Scotsman that the partnership came about when the business heard that ESpark was looking for some assistance from a technology angle as many of its start-ups needed help in what he called an increasingly important aspect of business.
Fraser said EMC was “very excited” about what he described as an excellent opportunity to “help encourage business growth and innovation in the UK”.
He added: “We want to help share advice that we’ve learnt over the past 35 years, and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. This is particularly key in an environment where digital technology is forming the life-blood of a new generation of businesses.
“We look forward to the further expansion of the partnership across the UK over the course of this year.”
Jim Duffy, co-founder and “chief executive optimist” at ESpark, which is also supported by accountancy group KPMG and operates across a wide range of UK locations including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ayrshire, said: “I’m ecstatic to have EMC on board as we create the UK’s largest tech accelerator.
“Our focus is on building the mindset and behaviours of an entrepreneur by focusing their mind, putting them into an environment that pushes their comfort zone, and providing sessions which challenge their thinking. Britain is creating more start-ups than ever before and we’re excited to work with EMC to help them grow and succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.”