Press Release │ November 2017
Elevator announces new strategic partnerships
Leading advisors partner with Elevator to accelerate business success for new and trading businesses at new Dundee Centre of Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs in the Dundee and Tayside area are to benefit from new strategic partnerships between Elevator’s prestigious Accelerator Programme and professional services companies including legal, HR, insurance, accountancy and intellectual property specialists.
Five new partners have signed up to share world-class insights, expertise and experience to provide invaluable advice and accelerate founders participating in Elevator’s Accelerator Programme in Dundee at the new Centre of Entrepreneurship.
World leading law firm Dentons, intellectual property attorneys Murgitroyd, Henderson Loggie chartered accountants, insurance broker Clark Thomson and recruitment and HR specialist Fairways will all be involved in the delivery of the specialised 12-week programme.
Elevator’s Accelerator programme, first launched in Aberdeen in 2015, is for ambitious, innovation-driven businesses, founders and teams seeking to improve their business offering, drive growth and explore investment potential at an accelerated rate. During their time on the programme, the founders will research the marketplace, explore different business models, identify new opportunities and plan for investment, scale, growth and exit.
The first Accelerator Programme in Dundee started in September at the new Centre of Entrepreneurship, the result of a unique partnership between Elevator and the University of Dundee.
Located within the University campus, the Centre of Entrepreneurship represents a £250,000 investment by Elevator, the University and other key partners and aims to drive innovation within businesses and commercialise new and existing technologies across sectors; including life sciences, digital media, gaming and other creative sectors.
Elevator deputy chief executive, Graham Morgan, said: “Our Accelerator programme gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to develop their businesses and create exciting new products and offerings which are ready for the market.
“Advice and guidance from industry professionals is invaluable to this process and we are thrilled to have the support of our five new partners. Each of them is an expert in their field and they will be able to offer deep insight and knowledge.”
Leading the team of specialists at law firm Dentons, is partner David McGrory, who said: “The team at Dentons has decades of experience helping companies to develop their businesses, and we are genuinely excited at the opportunity that our collaboration with Elevator provides to support entrepreneurs in the Tayside area in positioning themselves for growth.”
Liz Jackson, managing director of Perth and Dundee-based Fairways, bought the company in 2010 and introduced the new concept of HR services alongside recruitment, which was recognised with the award of the Most Enterprising Business of the Year accolade at the annual Women Ahead Business Awards in March.
Liz said: “Fairways is all about helping organisations to improve their business process, specifically through their people. Whether it is helping to recruit the right people, helping organisations with their HR challenges, or providing leadership training, our role is ultimately to assist organisations with their HR strategy.
“As a business owner who has set up two new ventures, I am committed to giving back to the business community and Elevator is a fantastic project which is very much aligned with Fairways’ philosophy. It not only supports and helps develop talent, but it challenges individuals too and promotes growth and ambition, and we are very much looking forward to supporting the Accelerator founders.”
Chartered accountants Henderson Loggie will be providing accounting, tax, corporate finance, personal financial planning, marketing and payroll support.
Steve Cartwright, partner at Henderson Loggie, said: “Elevator has a fantastic team and a strong track record of supporting entrepreneurial high growth businesses as do we at Henderson Loggie, it was the perfect partnership for us and an easy decision to support the programme.
“As well as the opportunity to work with inspiring entrepreneurial businesses, we want to support programmes that have the potential to provide economic and social benefit, whether that be through job creation, growth or expansion.”
Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers Ltd was impressed by Elevator’s work in Aberdeen and chose to mark the 20th anniversary of its Dundee office by partnering with the social enterprise to offer support to participants.
The company will be hosting workshops and individual risk and insurance advice, as well as access to its worldwide broker network, use of its office facilities and introductions to clients and contacts.
Graeme Christie, associate director, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the work of Elevator and entrepreneurship in general. Clark Thomson is passionate about identifying innovative projects to be part of and the work of Elevator really stood out as something that we wanted to actively support. We look forward to working with Elevator as it continues this exciting venture in Dundee.”
Murgitroyd is a global intellectual property firm with strong roots in Scotland, supporting companies in maximising return from their IP.
Tayside-based directors Wendy Crosby, a patent specialist, and trademark expert Mike Vettese will be working with the Accelerator founders, offering seminars, discussion sessions and one-to-one breakout sessions to give individual advice.
Wendy said: “Murgitroyd has been providing IP advice to Elevator Accelerator founders for the past three years and we are pleased to be able to extend that support to the Dundee centre. We are looking forward to working with the exciting business ventures coming through its doors.
“We are now seeing a move away from predominantly oil and gas related companies to a mix of new businesses which reflects the diversification in the region. Murgitroyd works closely with Elevator as the focus on supporting high growth companies to get up and running, particularly in the technology and innovation sector, is at the very heart of what we do.”
Brian McNicoll, enterprise and entrepreneurship manager at the University of Dundee, added: “The first cohort of Elevator accelerator founders within the centre comes at a very exciting time for the Tayside region, which has seen significant infrastructure investment, and we are excited to support the entrepreneurial talent which exists in the area. We are already seeing the unique benefits of an accelerator programme such as this being hosted on our campus enabling the businesses to better connect into the University of Dundee’s leading academic research, facilities and expertise to boost their growth aspirations.
Elevator works across Scotland to help facilitate the start-up and growth of new and existing businesses. Delivering Business Gateway services, Elevator currently engages with 2,500 start-up businesses and assists around 1,000 organisations to growth annually with advisory support.
With the launch of the centre for entrepreneurship, Elevator aims to support an additional 200 start-ups per year through stimulating interests in launching and growing businesses, as well as welcoming global talent onto the Elevator Programme accelerating businesses. Elevator supports the entrepreneurs, business leaders and employees of today and tomorrow by providing expert business advice, teaching entrepreneurship and enterprising behaviour.
Elevator has 19 business centres across Scotland from Banff to Perth, and runs several community-driven initiatives on the topic of entrepreneurship, employability and enterprise, working with a number of academic organisations, thousands of business owners and ambitious entrepreneurs.
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is one of two European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) that are provided by the European Union to invest in ‘smart, sustainable and inclusive’ growth in its member states. The ERDF aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion by correcting imbalances between regions. For the period from 2014 to 2020, the Scottish Government has received €476 million from the ERDF.
ESIFs are distributed to lead partners through Strategic Interventions (SIs): large-scale allocations of more than €15 million, structured around specific themes and with specific aims. Lead partners are policy directorates, agencies and local authorities with the capacity and capability to manage the funds and provide match funding of their own to increase the overall levels of investment.
The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit our webpages or follow @scotgovESIF.
About Dundee’s Centre of Entrepreneurship:
The Elevator Centre of Entrepreneurship in Dundee is the collaborative result of a partnership with the University of Dundee to foster entrepreneurship amongst the university faculty, student body and wider region and populace.
The Centre has been funded in part thanks to ERDF and Business Gateway – a publicly funded service contributing to the economic wellbeing of Scotland by providing access to free business support services.
Full of resources designed to be utilised by business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, the Centre will act as a hub for free advice, enterprise and network building, as well as position Dundee as the regional powerhouse for entrepreneurialism as the city continues its own £1bn redevelopment.