'˜Game-changing' start-ups join TechX Pioneer accelerator programme

Ten exciting tech start-ups with potentially 'game-changing solutions' today join the first cohort of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre's TechX Pioneer accelerator programme.

David Millar, TechX director, says well over 100 applicants have been whittled down to 10 finalists

A total of 125 entrepreneurs from 24 countries applied for the Pioneer programme, and a rigorous review and pitch process whittled this down to the final ten, the organisers said.

The Pioneer programme is a unique offering to start-ups providing funding, business support and market access, which is specifically geared to developing companies and technologies “that can help unlock the full potential of the UK Continental Shelf”.

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David Millar, TechX Director, commented: “Many start-ups have a great idea and truly believe their technology or solution can make a difference, but the reality is that 90 per cent of them fail.

“That figure is potentially even higher in oil and gas, which has traditionally been a difficult sector to break into. The Pioneer programme is here to buck that trend and bring a new wave of success for tech start-ups entering the UK oil and gas industry.”

Each “Pioneer” company will be based at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen for an intensive 16-week programme, and each entrepreneur will receive an initial £25,000 seed funding to help develop their business and enhance the technology.

The Pioneers will take part in a tailored programme, with highlights including exhibition space at the Safety 30 conference and exhibition, AECC, Aberdeen on 5-6 June.

They will also match up with mentors from TechX’s network of more than 100 experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders, and have one-to-one sessions with technical and business specialists from major North Sea operators

The Pioneers will get the chance to showcase their technology solutions at the North Sea headquarters of energy giants BP and Nexen, and have sessions with accountancy giant KPMG on start-up finance, investor readiness and raising capital.

Up to £75,000 in additional funding is available during the 16 weeks and upon graduation Pioneers can be transferred into a 12-month incubator called TechX+. Two companies with the most exciting potential also have the opportunity to secure a further £100,000 funding from BP. Millar added: “We’re excited to have the Pioneers on board and have a packed programme for them.

“We’re taking what would normally take them two to three years and cramming it into 16 weeks. We’re here to set the companies up for success.”