Media Release: Entrepreneurial Spark launches ‘Adopt an Entrepreneur’ scheme to match 500 start-ups with business leader mentors

Start-up incubator calls on business leaders to support founders of high growth Scottish start-ups with mentoring as applications fly in for fifth intake

ENTREPRENEURIAL Spark, Scotland’s biggest and most successful free start-up incubator, is today launching an ‘Adopt an Entrepreneur’ scheme, which will see at least 500 start-up businesses matched with experienced business people to provide mentoring over the next three years.

The scheme follows on from Entrepreneurial Spark matching supported businesses in their acceleration programme with mentors across Scotland.

A study released by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills in December 2013 found that 65 per cent of businesses under three years-old which have used a mentor felt they achieved faster outcomes through the advice and support they received, demonstrating a clear need for more mentor/mentee relationships to enable Scotland’s start-up community to continue to thrive.

Mentors will be pre-screened by the Entrepreneurial Spark team to ensure they fit the needs of start-up businesses, then those who have requested support will be invited to select the mentors that they’d like to work with. Support will be given to the selected businesses to ensure they are getting as much as possible from the mentoring scheme.

Ian Lebruce, from Edinburgh, worked with a mentor when founding his business Cappuccino Ads, which prints portable advertising on environmentally friendly cups and distributes them to independent coffee shops.

Ian said: “Mentors can fill the gaps of skills and knowledge that you don’t have. They can also provide access to their own networks, which is great when you’re launching a new business.”

Jim Duffy, CEO at Entrepreneurial Spark, says: “We’ve already matched more than 250 businesses with mentors and the results have been phenomenal. We’re excited to be extending this scheme to businesses not currently within the accelerator programme and can’t wait to engage with the mentors and mentees who apply.”

More than 80 mentors have signed up to date, and more are encouraged to make contact to be part of the scheme. Commitment can range from one-off meetings where ad hoc advice is provided, to long term relationships where regular meetings take place. Mentors are also invited to join the popular ‘Piranha Pits’ held at Entrepreneurial Spark, where businesses are grilled and tested on their proposition in a safe environment.

The Entrepreneurial Spark scheme is currently open for applications for both the mentoring scheme (mentors and mentees) and Entrepreneurial Spark’s business accelerator programme with provides up to 18 months of support. Applications are being encouraged from businesses across Scotland that have been trading for up to five years.

More details of Scotland’s most successful free business accelerator programme can be found here –


About Entrepreneurial Spark

Entrepreneurial Spark® is a business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures. Working in a collaborative office environment suitable for building teams, businesses will receive free IT and wi-fi, access to business advice and support with a pool of over 50 specialised mentors, networking opportunities, workshops, pitch practice and more.

Packed in up to 18 months in a support programme, aimed at making businesses more investable – the focus is on the individual, developing entrepreneurial mindsets and behaviours to enable acceleration and growth #GoDo.

We welcome applicants from idea, early stage businesses and to those who have been trading up to five years and/or have a £1 million turnover. Located across three spaces in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire – Our vision is to develop an entrepreneurial revival in and from Scotland.

Note to editors:

Multiple case studies of positive mentor/mentee relationships are available.

80 mentors have signed up to date; their profiles can be found here –

Media contacts:

Nathalie Agnew / 07985595510

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Contact: nathalie agnew
Phone: 07985595510