The search is on for Wales’s next big tech stars
Wales’s first tech accelerator programme has launched in a bid to find the country’s best technological talent.
The programme, called Ideas.Fund, will give promising entrepreneurs the opportunity to secure long-term investment and work with the best in the industry.
It’s being jointly funded by tech co-working space TechHub Swansea and the Welsh Government. Both partners will award each successful team with £5,000, bringing the total up to £10,000 so they can build their businesses.
Ideas Fund’s main aim is to find Welsh start-ups that have the potential for rapid growth and help them towards bringing their ideas to the next level.
Around ten start-ups will have the chance to be accepted onto the programme and will receive up to £10,000 in funding. They’ll also receive two months of mentoring from some of the biggest brands in the UK, including Just Eat, Google and New Look.
The application process has now opened and will close on March 18th, when TechHub’s partners will review the business ideas and choose a shortlist. The selected start-ups will recieve product development support before attending a large-scale demo day in London on June 24th.
During the demo, they’ll pitch to a number of industry investors and venture capitalists to try and secure investment.
Matt Warren, one of the directors of TechHub, said: “Wales has proven itself to be a major technology player at a UK-level, but we are confident there is even more talent out there. ideas.fund aims to uncover the next big wave of disruptive ideas and turn them from concepts into concrete, lucrative businesses.
“As a tech entrepreneur myself I know that getting a start-up off the ground can be a struggle, but the unique programme ideas.fund will offer entrepreneurs a real chance to show how their business could generate value in a busy tech market.”
Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “The ideas.fund programme will provide a platform where start-ups and entrepreneurs can focus wholly on honing their business plans while gaining valuable skills from a solid support team around them.
“It’s vital that these entrepreneurial people are given the time, money and encouragement they need to make sure their businesses get off the ground and scale rapidly.
“Technology-based companies and start-ups are a vital part of the economy in Wales and time and again we’ve proven that commercialising digital technologies is something we do really well.
“Ideas.fund will give Welsh start-ups the opportunity to showcase their high-quality business ideas to investors across the UK, helping push their businesses to the next level and putting Wales on the map as a hub of innovation.”
Applications for ideas.fund are now open until March 18. For more information or to apply, please visit http://ideas.fund/.