Posted on June 26, 2017 by staff

New Wales accelerator to back tech start-ups


A growth programme in Wales has been transformed into a full-scale accelerator backing the country’s most ambitious tech firms.

The Digital Dozen Accelerator, powered by Innovation Point, offers tech start-ups and scale-ups the chance to take their business to the next level through an intensive six-month journey aimed at helping them secure investment.

The programme includes high-profile and experienced mentors, specialist training, pitch and demo days and investor introductions. One of the highlights of being part of the Digital Dozen Accelerator is the opportunity to pitch to a panel of high-profile investors at the Digital 2017 event held in Tramshed Tech in September and at a prestigious event held at the London Stock Exchange in November.

“This year, building on the successful 2016 Digital Dozen campaign, we are seeking a cohort of dragons that we can turn into unicorns,” said David Warrender, CEO of Innovation Point.

“We’re offering a new, bigger and better package of support for start-ups and scale-ups looking for their next investment round – or perhaps a Stock Exchange listing – and whose ambitions match ours.

“Wales has the raw talent and ambition to become the leading force in the UK digital economy outside the capital.? This package of support will enhance our reputation as the UK destination of choice for capable tech businesses.?

“This programme will offer bespoke training, an unrivalled mentoring programme and links to only the smartest of investors.? This package is designed to stack the odds of successful, rapid growth firmly in favour of those ambitious businesses who participate.

“We are seeking Wales-based tech disruptors who are ready to accept the challenge and work with us to turn their dragon into a unicorn.”

There is no charge to be part of the accelerator and Innovation Point does not take an equity stake in return for participation.

Potential applicants have only until the 28th June to apply.

For the first time, those who have previously been part of the Digital Dozen campaign are invited to reapply to benefit from the increased level of support on offer.

Head of partnerships at Innovation Point and accelerator manager Colin Batten said: “This is a real step change from previous years. We’ve worked hard to build an accelerator that meets the ambitious needs of the exploding tech scene here in Wales.

“The huge package of support includes everything from investment readiness and pitching training to securing intellectual property and international expansion.

“Perhaps most important of all, we’ve brought some incredibly experienced mentors from the world of tech and investment onboard. The guidance and experience these mentors can offer is paramount for any start-up or scale-up seeking to achieve their potential.”

Past participants of the Digital Dozen campaign have represented a range of sectors and are already making their mark on the UK’s economy through innovative uses of technology; they include those in fintech, med-tech and ICT such as the successful Delio, DevOpsGuys and Elidir Health. ?

Commenting on their participation in the Digital Dozen in 2016, CEO of North-Wales based Elidir Health, Dyfan Searell, said: “Being part of the Digital Dozen really let people know we ‘landed’. It gave us a platform to show the world we’re a serious proposition. Not only that, it was fantastic for networking, raising our profile and enabling us to open up our market on a national level.”

In South Wales, Gareth Lewis, CEO of Delio, said: “The Digital Dozen puts you alongside the most exciting and talked about businesses in Wales. It opened up lots of opportunities for us across the UK and further afield and we’ve gone from strength to strength, so much so we have opened an office in Belgium and just picked up the award for best digital start-up in Wales.”

James Smith, former Digital Dozen participant and CEO of DevOpsGuys, added: “It was a great experience giving us exposure across Wales and the wider business community. We were really pleased about the level of attention we received; from pitching to investors to media attention which gives us real credibility with our prospects.

“It’s also really supported our investment drive.”