Glasgow’s creative firms offered business boost thanks to Elevator accelerator

A business accelerator initiative is expanding into its fourth Scottish city in a move aimed at boosting start-ups in Glasgow’s creative sector, it was announced today.

Professor Gary McEwan, CEO of business support organisation Elevator, which is launching its latest accelerator programme aimed at creative businesses in Glasgow. Picture: Andrew Barr
Professor Gary McEwan, CEO of business support organisation Elevator, which is launching its latest accelerator programme aimed at creative businesses in Glasgow. Picture: Andrew Barr

The Elevator business support organisation, which operates accelerators in Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth, has launched the new industry specific programme in Glasgow under a deal with the city’s council.

The Glasgow Creative Accelerator is open to start-ups, early stage and growth companies, and will offer targeted support to help them research potential markets and customer need, develop products and prepare for launch.

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The fully funded, 12-week programme will include access to mentors and networks to strengthen business models and accelerate growth.

It will support firms with research into potential markets and customer needs and help develop products. It will also help businesses develop financial plans and forecasts to support pitches to raise money from investors to accelerate growth.

The accelerator forms part of Glasgow City Council’s Business Growth Programme, which aims to deliver sustainable growth and improve business start-up and survival rates across the area.

Elevator was appointed by the council as one of the programme’s suppliers. Over the next three years, the support organisation will also deliver a range of business structuring services and advice to local entrepreneurs and SMEs. The support will be across areas including leadership, finance, innovation, internationalisation and business resilience.

Elevator’s CEO Professor Gary McEwan, said: “Our proven track record demonstrates that we are and continue to provide entrepreneurs with the innovative support and advice they need.

“We look forward to bringing our expertise and insight to uncover, develop and support Glasgow’s great business and creative potential.

“Our appointment within the council’s Business Growth Programme is only start of our vision and ambition to support both Glasgow and Scotland’s overall wealth of entrepreneurial talent.

Applications for the Creative Accelerator are now open with a deadline of 7 December ahead of the programme beginning in January 2021.

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Elevator operates Centres for Entrepreneurship in Aberdeen and Dundee as well as accelerators including energy-focused Grey Matters and the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre Accelerator in Perth which is aimed at design and creative businesses. Its flagship accelerator, run in Aberdeen and Dundee, is designed around early-stage business owners and teams who are keen to fast-track their business offering, growth and investment potential.

Under a partnership with a number of academic institutions, Elevator also runs an Academic accelerator which serves as a launchpad for candidates who have ideas with potential but need support with making the business case.

As well as the accelerator programmes, Elevator provides Business Gateway services across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Tayside.

Scotland’s creative industries are estimated to contribute more than £5 billion to the Scottish economy every year across some 15,000 businesses employing more 70,000 people.

Glasgow City Council's Business Growth Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Scotland's European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) initiative. The programme is part of efforts to help Glasgow achieve its ambition of becoming the most productive UK city economy by 2023.

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