US offer for start-ups

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A SUPPORT scheme for start-ups has teamed up with Royal Bank of Scotland to offer them the chance to learn from some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs at the Babson College in Massachusetts.

Entrepreneurial-Spark, currently supporting more than 100 start-ups across its two sites in Ayrshire and Glasgow, has launched a competition to send six start-up businesses to study at the college’s entrepreneurial bootcamp in January.

ESpark recently celebrated its first anniversary and co-founders Jim Duffy and Brian McGuire have been regular visitors to Babson College and attended the bootcamp this year.

Duffy said: “Babson is where it all started for us; it’s where the Entrepreneurial-Spark idea was born and developed and where I took my team to embrace the full-on entrepreneurial experience they provide. The opportunity to learn from some of the world’s best at Babson College is one which could truly set a start-up business on the path to success.”

The competition will run between now and 15 December. The ESpark team will select 12 start-ups based on the metrics set as part of the ESpark programme, which include progress being made on the following: pitching, forecasting, self-analysis, team development, resources, identifying investment partners and business opportunities, and an overall “go-do” attitude.

The finalists will then pitch a three-minute summary of their business to Gordon Merry­lees, managing director of RBS Business Banking in Scotland, who will decide on the six winners.

Merrylees said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for new entrepreneurs to learn from an institute that is synonymous with entrepreneurialism globally. Supporting entrepreneurs is about much more than just providing finance and it’s important to build knowledge, provide expertise, create confidence, and facilitate networks.”