Caerphilly start-up incubator Welsh ICE launches accelerator

Caerphilly-based start-up incubator Welsh ICE has launched its own accelerator to provide businesses with tailored support to help them grow, boost exports and create new jobs.

The accelerator will be running for twelve weeks in Caerphilly and is open to businesses with a growth strategy that can create 10 jobs and turn over £2 million in the first three years.

Applicants will receive assistance in identifying lucrative opportunities in the international market with the aim of generating 30 per cent of their overall revenue through exports.

If successful, they’ll be given a wide range of exclusive support services, including access to investors, trade missions to UK-based events, needs analysis driven masterclasses and workshops from experienced Welsh business owners. They will also get office space at ICE.

It’s being run through the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme and is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Economy minister Edwina Hart said: “As a pro-business government, we are committed to supporting Welsh entrepreneurs and companies with ambitious plans for growth and creating jobs. The new pre-start business accelerator programme is a chance for businesses with growth potential to receive tailored support and coaching to boost their exports and turnover.”

“It is being delivered through the Welsh Government’s enhanced Business Wales service which, while continuing to provide comprehensive support, advice and information to new entrepreneurs and existing SMEs, located in Wales, has a new focus on supporting new and existing businesses which show growth and export potential.”

David Notley, joint venture partner of the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme, said: “The Accelerated Growth Programme is looking for the very best high growth businesses in Wales. Start-ups by their nature are new and exciting – but that comes with risk and uncertainty, which is why guidance from experienced entrepreneurs is so crucial.

“The mentorship and scaffolding that the pre-start accelerator growth programme offers is second to none and ICE is a perfect place to foster and nurture future high-growth businesses.”

Gareth Jones, CEO of Welsh ICE, said: “We are looking for people with ideas, who have ambitions to grow, build a team and trade beyond borders. Our targets are ambitious, and therefore applicants will have to share that ambition – but for the right people, the result could be life changing. ”

Heading up the programme is Darran Hughes, who spoke of his passion for fostering young business. He said: “Supporting companies to grow and achieve commercial success and sustainability is a passion of mine.

“It is immensely rewarding when a company is able to move forward whilst retaining the commitment to stay true to their original vision, creating a strong culture, and maintaining a sense of resilient grounding. I’ve been fortunate enough to do this in companies either side of the Atlantic, and can’t wait to support the first cohort of founders that apply to participate in the Accelerator.”

The closing date for applications is February 7th. Submissions will then be evaluated by a panel of judges, with businesses being notified by February 19th.