North East accelerator Ignite is inviting applications for its final programme.

Ignite has delivered its business support programmes since 2011, comprising mentoring, workshops and connections with experienced entrepreneurs and investors.

The two-month programme, to be held in August and September, will be the last through the Digital Pipeline project, funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority. The team is looking at ways to support entrepreneurs in the region beyond this.


Successful startups will be given a fully-funded trip to San Francisco and receive credits and discounts from companies such as Amazon Web Services, Google and Stripe.

“We are looking for ambitious founders ready to advance their fundraising efforts and start scaling their businesses,” said Jo York, CEO of Ignite. “The quality of applications to our previous programmes has been outstanding, and we expect the same level this year.

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“Over the last three years we’ve seen multiple companies go from the very early stages of traction, to securing significant investment and even go onto exit within a couple of years of taking part in the programme. 

“We’re looking for startup founders with the same level of ambition to join the final programme as part of the North East Digital Business Pipeline project.”

FactoryTech 50 star and MarTech Polybox both came through the 2023 Accelerator Programme and recently secured £200,000 and £500,000 pre-seed funding respectively.


“We’ve seen that we can solve problems for manufacturers close to home here in the North East and are now in a position to start to scale,” said Stephen Mitchell, co-founder and CEO of SQCDP. 

“We learned loads through the Ignite programme and in raising our pre-seed round. The investment will help us start onboarding new customers remotely and grow the team.”

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Gridfinder, an eSports startup which came through the 2022 edition, was sold in a multi-million-pound deal earlier this year.

Tom Bunten, CEO of Gridfinder, added: “Ignite taught us to think globally. Gridfinder is a regional business, but it has access to an international market. 

“This realisation transformed our business strategy and empowered us to access a whole host of incredible opportunities, ultimately growing Gridfinder to a successful exit.”

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