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Dotforge accelerator programme gives boost to region’s digital industry start-ups

posted 20 Sep 2012, 06:44 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 21 Sep 2012, 01:57 ]
A new programme to support start-up businesses across the Sheffield City Region has been launched at the recent MADE Festival. 

The Dotforge accelerator programme will give start-up businesses in digital industries and businesses relating to digital industries, intensive mentoring and coaching from experienced entrepreneurs, as well as investing £25,000 of private venture capital in each new venture. The programme has attracted investment from Creative England and local private sector investors.

It is anticipated that the Dotforge accelerator programme will help to attract entrepreneurs from around the world to the City Region and aims to build a talent pool and community of globally connected high-growth businesses. 

The start-up accelerator is one of several strands in the Sheffield City Region’s ambitious CloudCity UK programme, which will bring the benefits of digital technologies to the City Region’s economy.

Dotforge accelerator will run two accelerator programmes in 2013, with a view to establishing a longer term programme in the future. The accelerator is a 13 week intensive programme of mentoring and supporting up to ten early stage technology companies. Dotforge accelerator is 50% funded by Creative England, the national development agency that supports, develops and champions the creative industries outside London.

The remaining 50% of the programme funding will be met by private sector businesses and investors that can see the economic impact and wider value that an accelerator programme could have on the City Region. One such private sector partner is specialist broadband service provider Ask4. 

The region’s Local Enterprise Partnership have played a pivotal role in building up the partnership to bring the programme to fruition, as LEP Chairman, James Newman said: “This programme will give digital leaders of tomorrow the mentoring, support and capital they need to get their ideas and technologies off the ground. “The LEP recognises the potential of the creative and digital sector in creating sustainable employment and stimulating economic growth for the City Region.”

Jim Farmery, Creative England Director of Business Development, said: “Creative England is delighted to be supporting the accelerator programme. I can’t wait to see what exciting and unexpected directions the start-up businesses will take.” 

To find out more, rregister for updates and to find out how to get involved in the programme as a startup founder, a mentor or an investor, visit: