Expert support to fast track businesses in Sheffield City Region

Sheffield City Region entrepreneurs, start-ups and businesses are being encouraged to apply to take part in an intensive business programme of free expert support, development and one-to-one mentoring.

The Y-Accelerator programme is offering the city region’s business leaders of tomorrow the exclusive opportunity to benefit from a 12-week, fast-track development package and will see participants take advantage of expert advice and mentoring, access to a network of industry experts and specialist workshops.

Concluding the 12-week project, which runs from October 2019 to January 2020, each business or entrepreneur will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to an audience of potential investors. UK Steel Enterprise is offering a £1,000 prize to the best pitch on the night.

Led by business experts from both the public and private sector, the project is facilitated in partnership by Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO) and a resident entrepreneur from Sheffield engineering organisation Gripple Ltd. on behalf of the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub.

The businesses chosen to take part will have a bespoke programme of one-to-one support designed for them, delivered on a part-time basis. Businesses will also benefit from a series of informative workshop-style session delivered by industry specialists.

Applications will be open until 15th September, when the Y-Accelerator team will select 10 projects to join the programme. They will be supported in building a strong customer proposition and financial model, as well as learning to effectively communicate their business value to potential customers and investors.

Gordon McRae, special projects manager at Gripple, said: “We are really excited to be involved in the Y-Accelerator for the third time. With a strong aim to create and strengthen new businesses for the economic benefit of the region, Y-Accelerator will work hard to provide specialist workshops and expertise for people in a completely tailored way.

“The programme is a fantastic chance to not only gain specialist business expertise but an opportunity to really take advantage of in-house advice, a strong network of industry contacts and experience of creating a strong business model.

“If you or your team have an innovative idea and have an aspiration to build a strong new business in the Sheffield City Region, then we want to hear from you. We’re looking for all stages of applicants – students, employed or unemployed people are all encouraged to apply – it’s the idea and ambition that counts.”

Amanda Parris, business growth manager for RiDO, said: “The Y-Accelerator programme is a truly fantastic, unique initiative and we offer a very bespoke package for the people we work with. As well as a great idea, we want to work with people who think differently and who will soak up our specialist advice to create a viable, scalable business.

“People from all industry sectors are encouraged to apply, although logistics, manufacturing, and automation are especially of interest. We are delighted to run the programme for the sixth time, and we are looking forward to working with some more exciting businesses.”

The Y-Accelerator 2019/20 is inviting applications until 15th September through the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub portal. For more information, please email: growthhub@sheffieldcityregion.org.uk, visit www.scrgrowthhub.co.uk/y-accelerator or call 0333 000 0039.

Picture caption: (left to right): Amanda Parris, Business Growth Manager for RiDO; Gordon McRae, Special Projects Manager for Gripple; Hawa Talbot, founder of Fula Flavour; Keith Williams, Regional Manager at UKSE, Zelter Shelter founder, Lee Price; Simon Lancaster, Rocassa; David Grimes, Head of Sheffield City Region Growth Hub; Masango Shingairai, Senior Lecturer Sheffield Hallam University; Tim O’Connell, Head of RIDO