ONE of Scotland’s leading business support and development organisations is set to create what will become one of Scotland’s foremost centres of excellence for entrepreneurship – with a global business accelerator programme.
Enterprise North East Trust (Enterprise) has unveiled plans to establish Aberdeen as a world-renowned city for supporting and developing entrepreneurs with a specialism in the energy and technology sectors that will attract new start businesses from across the globe to come to the city.
The organisation, which delivers the Business Gateway progammes for Grampian and Tayside, is creating the £1million facility, an Aberdeen centre for entrepreneurship within The Hub at the city’s Energy Park at the Bridge of Don.
The move is being strongly backed by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils, along with the Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to create an outstanding space to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and attract global talent to the city.
Twenty-eight Enterprise staff and Business Gateway advisers are moving to the centre for entrepreneurship, which is 5,500 sq ft, and more than double the size of the organisation’s current base in the city’s Admiral Court. The centre is due for completion by late summer 2014.
As an integral part of the new facility, Enterprise is launching the EnergeTEC Accelerator Programme, to identify high-potential, high-growth businesses and introduce them to the facility’s unique setting in order accelerate their business ideas towards a successful outcome.
The 13-week programme will immerse the high potential start-ups in an entrepreneurial environment where they will be surrounded by multiple mentors who will share their knowledge and experience.
The objective is to recreate a year of learning in 13 weeks and propel these businesses onto a high growth curve.
Enterprise chief executive, Gary McEwan, has a vision to create the centre and EnergeTEC after visiting the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, and Boston’s Babson College of Entrepreneurship last year.
He said: “Entrepreneurs are the driving force of the economy, they encourage growth, employment and success.
“By launching the facility, we hope to spawn and inspire a whole new generation of North-east entrepreneurs, while EnergeTEC will focus on embracing both local and global start-ups to accelerate their growth and to have them establish in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.
“This will provide a superb platform for energy and technology sector giants currently operating in the area to offer their expertise in support of the EnergeTEC programme to help develop future technologies.
“If we can harness the support of the North-east business community, we anticipate that this outstanding facility will ultimately become a beacon of entrepreneurship for the North-east of Scotland, and we will be seen to fly the flag for entrepreneurs globally.
“Whilst we quite naturally anticipate a focus on energy and technology start-ups the centre will be welcoming to new businesses with high potential from any sector.
“We recognise a vibrant pool of high quality talent in the region, and we want our young entrepreneurs to see the new centre as their natural home, a place that will provide the resources they need to succeed.”
One of the key factors of the Centre for Entrepreneurship will be its global connection to 55 accelerator programmes around the world.
With ultra fast broadband, users of the centre will be able to watch, listen to and participate in events happening globally as well as access help and advice from similar accelerators worldwide.
The centre has been specifically designed to create a space with spirit and energy, a creative, entrepreneurial environment to encourage start up and new business growth. Its ambitious design underscores Enterprise’s determination to create a space with a vibrant and exciting culture for business development in the city.
The welcoming, easily accessible space, will be unlike anything currently available and will consist of internationally connected rooms, impressive study and research areas along with engaging and stimulating meeting spaces.
The centre will also be used to deliver enterprise programmes to inform and inspire the young people in the region.
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