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New partners for fast-track scheme Elevator

elevatorBusiness start-up programme Elevator has announced partnerships with law firm Burness Paull and the software company Pinnacle.

They join Elevator’s existing partners KPMG and the PR and digital marketing agency The Big Partnership.

Elevator’s Accelerator Programmes, launched in 2015, aim to fast-track growth at early-stage businesses.

Its chief executive Gary McEwan said that the new partnerships with Burness Paull and Pinnacle would further enhance the experience for founders.

He said: “The people who participate in our Accelerator Programmes are at varying stages of business from research, proof of concept, launch or existing business owners – they often need an intensive look at their business to help them realise their goal.

“During the 12-week programme, we challenge them, their goals, their plans and their business ideas, while at the same time supporting their aspirations for scale and growth, teaching entrepreneurial disciplines and best practice for business growth. 

“We are extremely fortunate to have the added support of thought leaders and established businesses functioning as mentors and partners who are willing to impart their knowledge and experience through a series of inspiring talks, workshops, practical help, and valuable financial backing.

“We are very much looking forward to starting work with Burness Paull and Pinnacle, both of whom complement our growing team of partners and provide support, knowledge and experience to the founders.”

Burness Paull partner and head of technology sector, Callum Sinclair, said: “We are truly excited and energised by our appointment as an Elevator Partner. 

“Technology is a key focus sector for Burness Paull, and tech and process innovation increasingly pervades the work we do with clients – indeed everything we do as a business.  Our full service, tech-focussed legal offering, our passionate involvement with the communities in which we work, and our spirit of agile ‘intrapreneurship’ are a perfect fit with Elevator’s vision and values.”

Aberdeen-based Pinnacle’s managing Director Kenny Steele, said: “Pinnacle was fortunate to be participants of the first cohort of the Elevator’s Accelerator programme – the business advice and opportunities we received really helped us adapt our business and grow.

“Because we have gone through this we are in a unique position to understand what the Founders are going through, how daunting it can be and how, with support and advice, their dreams can fly. We are very excited to join the partnership team and look forward to helping the Founders develop and succeed.”

Elevator created the UK’s first Centre for Entrepreneurship at HQ in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen where the delivery of Business Gateway is combined with an open access public facility and business accelerator.  

Latest figures released by Business Gateway Aberdeen City and Shire showed that in the 12 months up to April 2016, Elevator helped 1,276 people to start their business through Business Gateway services, 27% more than the 1,000 target set for the area.

As a result, the number of new business starts-ups in Grampian and Tayside rose to its highest on record, breaking all targets and out-performing other regions in the rest of Scotland. 

Of those, 555 (43%) were in Aberdeen city, while 721 (57%) were started in the Shire. The figures show that more than half of those starting a new business (51%) were women, while almost 6% were started by people who had been made redundant from the oil and gas industry.

Photo: Callum Sinclair and Gary McEwan (contributed)

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