Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North East Accelerator Programme's Re-Boot; INVESTMENT

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North East Accelerator Programme's Re-Boot; INVESTMENT

Article excerpt

Byline: graeme whitfield graeme.whitfield@ncjmedia.co.uk

ABUSINESS accelerator programme that has won praise around the country since starting in Newcastle has launched a re-boot that will see revenue shared between the companies it has already backed. Ignite, which has invested in more than 100 start-ups from its base at Newcastle's Campus North, is launching Ignite 2.0 to provide a service it believes is a better fit for the current business climate.

The new model will see Ignite investing in businesses with PS25,000 funding and a range of support services in exchange for a 6% equity share in that company.

That equity will be split 5% to the investors and 1% to Ignite's Founders Co-operative, in which the founders of companies already backed by Ignite get a share in both the choice of new companies and the profits they make.

Ignite says it aims to invest in two to four businesses each month rather than its current practice of taking on a new cohort of firms every three months, meaning the process from meeting new companies to investing in them will be shortened.

It says it will invest in and support at least 30 companies in the next year, with 80% of them being outside London and the South East.

In a blog posting, Ignite CEO Tristan Watson said: "What we've found is that companies don't need as much help starting, it's scaling that is the problem. In fact, they can do more, on less investment, than ever before.

"Most of the companies who apply to us now already have their product built, many are already making money, and now they need help turning that into a real, sustainable business.

"And this is great news! It means there are smart people, building great companies, all across the UK.

"Yet because of the traditional accelerator format, which requires everyone to be in the same place at the same time for three months, we're not able to help a lot of these companies.

"Just because teams are not able to, or don't want to relocate, accelerators are missing out on supporting some amazing founders. …

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