TEAMS with an eye-opening digital start-up idea have just a few days to apply for Newcastle's Ignite100 accelerator programme.
The programme is returning for a second run in September, having sent nine companies into the world at the end of last year. Ignite100 offers teams financial support to get their ideas off the ground, as well as access to mentoring from people at high-profile companies such as Google and Foursquare.
Applications for the 13-week programme close at midnight Pacific Standard Time on Saturday (June 30).
The funding for Ignite100 comes from the Finance for Business North East Technology Fund managed by IP Group and the Finance for Business North East Accelerator Fund managed by Northstar Ventures, both of which are part of the £125m Finance for Business North East programme managed by North East Finance. It is also supported by angel investors including Green Lane Capital, Fiona Cruickshank, Alastair Waite and Hotspur Capital Partners.
The concept is that successful applicants receive £5,000 per founder up to a maximum of £15,000, and develop their business over 13 weeks with assistance from local and international mentors.
At the end of the programme, they can top up that investment to £100,000 if they reach certain pre- approved milestones, and pitch their idea to angel investors and venture capitalists at “investor days”.
Last year featured a diverse range of start-ups, from chat platform Blooie to interactive art map ArtSpotter, social giving platform Givey, project-management software Usable, social media intelligence firm Odimax and car rental platform RentMama.
This year’s programme features a more international flavour, with a trip to the USA, access to co-working space in New York and San Francisco and attendance at the SXSW conference in Texas included in the package. Mentors include Alex Van Someren of Amadeus Capital Partners, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, Google product manager Ian Leader, Buffer founder Joel Gascoigne, Teesside-based Audacious and Graphic.ly creator Kevin Mann and Shazam’s director of music and content Will Mills.
The team behind Ignite100 believe the project will help to develop Newcastle’s reputation as a hub for promising tech start-ups, and maybe draw talent from outside in the same way that the Techstars accelerator has done for the city of Boulder in Colorado.
Applications are open to teams beyond the UK and Europe, and the Ignite100 has been raising awareness of the accelerator in recent months with visits to locations such as New York.
For more information see the website at www.ignite100.com