The search for Wales' next tech stars has been launched as TechHub Swansea opens the nation’s first tech accelerator programme to give promising entrepreneurs the opportunity to work alongside some of the UK’s biggest names in technology and secure long-term investment.
ideas.fund is a new intensive-growth programme jointly funded by TechHub Swansea and the Welsh Government. It provides each successful team £10,000 to ensure budding tech entrepreneurs are given the best possible start towards building their businesses.
The aim is to identify start-ups in Wales that have the potential for rapid growth and help them to push their ideas to the next level. Up to 10 start-ups will be accepted onto the programme, which will see them granted up to at least £10,000 worth of funding and mentored for two months by names from some of the biggest brands in the country - including the CEO of JustEat, Google, the founder of New Look and Entrepreneur First.
Matt Warren, TechHub director, 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 gives entrepreneurs a real chance to show how their business could generate value in a busy tech market."
Wales 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 a 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."