Electric Works based dotforge Accelerate Startups

Sheffield’s high growth accelerator programme for early-stage startups, dotforge,  confirms the first cohort of successful companies. The startups will benefit from smart money, a lean ‘bootcamp’ process and mentoring from successful entrepreneurs to help them build commercially robust product-based businesses that can scale to reach global markets.

Backed by a group of Yorkshire private investors and Creative England, who bring capital through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, dotforge combines investment with an intensive mentoring and execution programme to accelerate the growth of ambitious startups that have global potential.

Six startups from across the UK have seen off competition from nearly 100 international applicants to join the thirteen week programme.  By the end of this intense period – the equivalent of running a business for a year outside of the programme – each team will emerge as more effective entrepreneurs building more resilient businesses that have better market credibility and traction.

The different business ideas range widely, bringing new cloud-based technology to disrupt markets as diverse as car buyers and dealers, live gigs, and hospitality. Other data-intensive products being developed on the dotforge programme include sophisticated technologies to improve writing and content generation, a natural language interface for data-mining, and an elegantly simple timeline of everything you might be interested in.

The programme is based at Electric Works, Sheffield’s flagship digital business hub. The venue is operated by Creative Space Management, who are working closely with the dotforge team to create an environment and culture that is conducive to supporting startup businesses to thrive and realise their growth potential.

Jag Goraya, the Programme Manager at dotforge, said: “Six incredibly smart, ambitious and resourceful teams have made it through to our inaugural programme. Their products are a great showcase of how cloud and web technology can be used to create disruptive platforms that change the way we do those things that we take for granted in our business and personal lives. The scope for each is enormous, and the programme will help the startup founders make some tough decisions about what they need to do in 3 months to take their businesses to the next stage of growth.”

Jim Farmery, Director of Business Investment at Creative England said: “dotforge is exactly the kind of project we are keen to invest in as it helps new businesses overcome the significant obstacles they can face in terms of finance and commercial expertise.  With backing from Sheffield LEP and an agency such as ourselves, the mix of local knowledge and national reach means we believe this is going to be a winning formula.”

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