A business accelerator for university and college students, staff and graduates has concluded at the Aberdeen ‘Centre for Entrepreneurship’ and has produced 14 business innovators that are ready to take their businesses to the next level.
Launched by Elevator, the accelerator sought to bring together aspiring business leaders from the higher education sector and immerse them in a variety of entrepreneurial themes – including; idea validation, market opportunity sizing, financial modelling and more – to accelerate their business ideas and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit.
The entrepreneurs, known as ‘Founders’ have now joined Elevator’s unique network of alumni and business contacts who will all be able to help them continue their growth journey.
Startups that have been launched or scaled during the accelerator include a mobile bar business from 20-year old Cammy Esson.
His business, Boozy Events, has provided over 5,000 cocktails at more than 100 events and now Cammy is looking to develop an app to help increase and expand his business. The app will let customers design their mobile bar and cocktail requirements, which the Boozy Events team will deliver and manage.
Mr Esson said: “The Elevator accelerator has been a great opportunity to learn and collaborate with likeminded individuals who all share similar ambitions and encourage you along the way. By engaging with mentors and networking with people that understand and can help your business, it’s opened a lot of doors for Boozy Events and it’s going to be really exciting to see where we can go from here.”
Currently being developed by Federico Caso, a genetics student from the University of Aberdeen, ‘Caso’ is a medical tool that will be able to detect subtle changes in the human body symptomatic of genetic illnesses. By applying his knowledge, skills and passion to his business, Federico now feels ready to start building a case for investment to further develop the AI tool.
Elevator’s accelerator programmes aim to attract ‘future-focused’ founders. For example, the future of mobility has been identified as a priority for the UK Government under ‘The Grand Challenges’ initiative. Keep Living, by Edna Epelu, is looking into the potential of setting-up mobility scooters at public transport stations which can be made available to the elderly or those with mobility issues under a paid membership model. Under the Keep Living model, the scooters could be collected and returned at any of the available points, in a system similar to bicycle rental schemes in cities such as London and Barcelona.
Other Founders’ concepts include using virtual reality technology to boost socialising, an eco-friendly fashion accessories and gadget business and a tool based on robotic process automisation (RPA) that can cut man-hours and save money on repetitive tasks.
Jules Lancastle, Accelerator Manager for Aberdeen, said: “The accelerator programme from Elevator is about nurturing entrepreneurial ambition and supporting businesses with the potential for high-growth and success.
“Our university-linked cohort provided people from the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and NESCOL the opportunity to discover their own potential and refine their business, product or idea. Our next accelerator is open for applications, ahead of its launch in September, and we’re looking for ambitious and future-focused entrepreneurs or teams that are spearheading technology-enabled ideas around our ageing society, clean growth, the future of mobility or the increase use of AI and data.
“Potential Founders should have some business experience and have the aim of scaling rapidly to achieve turnover of more than £1 million within one to three years. We look forward to welcome business leaders with that vision and ambition onto the next accelerator cohort.”