RGU launch fifth Startup Accelerator to support North East entrepreneurs

Thursday 24 November 2022

Keith Ridgeway, father of Andy Ridgeway, at the recent Converge Awards.
Robert Gordon University has launched its annual Startup Accelerator programme to continue supporting early-stage entrepreneurs in the North East of Scotland grow their innovative ideas into award-winning ventures.

The programme is now in its fifth year and has supported 86 businesses across the region that have gone on to create millions of pounds worth of economic impact.

The Startup Accelerator launch coincides with RGU being nominated as one of the UK’s most entrepreneurial universities at last Thursday night’s Times Higher Education (THE) Awards in London.

The prestigious award recognises institutions that have ‘developed and delivered an exceptional approach to embedding entrepreneurship within its culture and programmes’.

Chris Moule, Head of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at RGU, said: “We’re delighted to launch our annual Startup Accelerator for the fifth year and can’t wait to see all the exciting ideas that applicants come up with.

“At RGU we now have an embedded culture of entrepreneurship, creativity and curiosity and we’re still as passionate as ever about driving innovation and supporting new impactful enterprises to contribute to Scotland’s economic prosperity.”

Successful applicants who demonstrate innovative ideas could receive £2,000 in equity-free start-up funding; five months of skill development; free access to city centre co-working facilities; industry mentor support; and opportunities to network and pitch with key stakeholders.

Many past recipients have recently been recognised with significant accolades. Andy Ridgway, founder of Everybodycounts Ltd from the programme’s 2022 cohort, won Highly Commended in the ‘Create Change’ category of the recent Converge Awards - the largest company creation programme for Scottish universities.

The new-start’s recognition is coupled with £10,000 in equity-free cash and £4,250 in business support for his educational firm which aims to change the way the world learns Maths. Two Raccoons, a company which turns fruit waste into wine, had also been nominated in the same category having been an Accelerator graduate too.

Zephyrus Aerolabs Ltd, founded by Chris Solomon in the same year, was a recent Scottish Young Edge Finalist, winning £15,000. The aerial emission monitoring cleantech company were similarly finalists at the Converge Awards too, this time in the ‘Net Zero Challenge’ category.

Elsewhere, TrackGenesis Ltd will go on to represent the North East in the Tech Nation UK finals having won their Rising Stars 5.0 regional event. Now recognised as one of Aberdeen’s most innovative tech companies, they were founded by Rajesh Plamthottathil, a 2020 Startup Accelerator participant.

Chris added: “The University is very proud of all our Startup Accelerator graduates and this recognition is testament to not only their hard work and dedication but also to the supportive environment created by RGU which inspires and assists entrepreneurs on their journey.”

Applications for its latest cohort are now exclusively open to current RGU students and alumni who have graduated within the past five years. Prospective participants have until Sunday 11 December to apply via the RGU website.

Image of Keith Ridgway, father of Andy Ridgway, at the recent Converge Awards.

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