Accelerator programmes certainly seem to be sprouting up everywhere these days and when you consider what they can offer to fledgling startup businesses, that’s not exactly a bad thing. One of the newest of these is the Dotforge Accelerator programme which has just put out an open call for applications, so if you’re considering going down the Accelerator route with your business idea, this could be for you. Here’s the lowdown on what you need to know:
Who can apply? Dotforge Accelerator is open to any early stage tech startup from anywhere in the world. No geographic restrictions whatsoever, although all applicants must be work legally in the UK for the duration of the programme. All types of technology businesses will be considered provided they have high growth potential and would be able to achieve this by taking advantage of the ‘cloud’. Startups that have a strong B2B or Big Data focus are encouraged to apply as well as those startups that would focus and leverage some of the Sheffield region’s strengths including e-learning and e-health amongst others.
What does the programme entail? Like most accelerator programmes, Dotforge has a pretty intensive 13 week schedule during which startups will be put through their paces on everything from testing their business models through to building their products or finding profitable customers. The idea is that at the end of the programme, those startups will have a real viable business proposition that they can use to pitch to investors to hopefully take them to the next stage in development.
What does it offer? Well apart from the kudos of being on the first ever Dotforge Accelerator programme, there are a whole bunch of benefits to be had. Firstly, all Startups accepted onto the programme will receive up to £5,000 per founder ( up to £15000 in total) in return for a 6% stake in their business. The programme also paves the way for additional follow-on funding and investment opportunities. Of course as you’d expect from such a programme, all participants will also greatly benefit from the countless mentoring and networking opportunities which may transpire to be even more valuable than a financial investment.
How, when and where? If you’re interested in applying, simply visit the Dotforge site for full details. Applications must be in by February 25th. One more thing - the location! If you’re successfully accepted onto the programme, your home for 13 weeks will be none other than Sheffield, South Yorkshire. All participants will work from a city centre office for the duration of the programme and the programme organisers will also assist startups in finding residential accommodation.
We caught up with recent Self Starter of the Week Derek Ahmedzai to find out about more about his funding platform Fundsurfer, crowdfunding more generally, and what makes someone a Self Starter in the first place!