Tag: AD:VENTURE growth

Accelerate! Taking Leeds City Region Start-ups to a New Level

This October saw the launch of Accelerate, a brand-new six-month accelerator led by Leeds Beckett University and funded by its partner- AD:VENTURE – a scheme working to connect universities, local councils, chambers and private sector businesses in the Leeds City Region (LCR).

The programme gives companies access a vast and diverse array of support in a succinct, structured way, taking each business on a growth journey to equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to lead achieve positive, sustainable growth.

With four workshops interspersed with one-to-one mentoring, specialist coaching, and round-the-clock support, Accelerate covers everything from sales, HR and business planning to growth strategy and exit.

But this is no ‘one size fits all’. Every programme is tailored to match the businesses’ unique needs and ambitions, with Deb Hetherington, Innovation Manager at Leeds Beckett University, key account managing each one to ensure they get the right support for them.

This unique approach takes the programme bespoke, with tailored programmes of workshops, mentoring, opportunities for student placements and consultancy projects designed on a case-by-case basis after a one-to-one diagnostic process with Deb.

Accelerate has secured three years’ worth of funding, and in that time, it hopes to put nine cohorts of 10 companies through the programme. The businesses will have ongoing relationships with the university when their six months are up, as well as access to legal advice and a funding matrix to map their next step.

To be eligible for Accelerate, you must be less than three years limited, based in the LCR and work in the B2B space. A large part of the programme’s wider ambition is around enabling the University to offer student placements in high-growth businesses, so the team is on the lookout for companies with genuine potential to develop – fast.

Accelerate is all about connecting up a rich tapestry of individuals and institutions to create real, tangible benefits for the whole LCR, with a bold target of getting between 90 and 100 businesses to the point where they can hire someone – all over the course of six months. The underlying goal is, of course, to increase businesses’ turnover, resulting in more jobs and economic improvement for the whole region.

With the first cohort already full and a growing waiting list for the second, Accelerate has had keen interest so far – often from start-ups that have the passion, the creativity and the concept, but might lack some of the business acumen to take their business to the next level. That’s where Accelerate come in, armed with knowledge of business, growth and sales strategies and ready to upskill the next generation.

So how to get involved?

Email Deb Hetherington directly at D.J.Hetherington@leedsbeckett.ac.uk, or hit up the AD:VENTURE team at adventure@leedsbeckett.ac.uk. After that, the process is fast and straightforward – an eligibility form and a meeting with Deb, followed by an evaluation process and a yes or no within a week.

CANDLE DIGITAL BURNS BRIGHT WITH INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS

Start-up Support

Candle Digital, the organisation that gives companies the opportunity to sell their services online by turning their expertise into digital products, has moved to new premises at the University Business Centre in Halifax and announced that it has secured international clients in the US and China.

Just eighteen months after launching, Andy Jack and Mark Langdale, have used their experience from the online learning industry to create a company that gives SMEs the chance to scale their business using digital tools to sell their expertise, rather than just their time.

Taking the opportunity to access support from AD:VENTURE, the ERDF funded programme providing practical and match-funded support for SMEs, and Leeds Beckett University, the business has been able to put in place processes and plans that have seen it expand far quicker than was first intended.

Andy comments: ““Working with AD:VENTURE and Leeds Beckett University has given us the space and time to grow faster and in a more sustainable way. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support that we have received. We have a stronger understanding of who we are, why we’re doing this and who we should target. Rather than holding us back, the systems and processes that we now have in place have been a real catalyst for growth.

“Moving to our new offices and securing international clients is a huge step forward for us and we are looking forward to what the future holds.”

start-up support

Andy Jack and Mark Langdale, at Candle Digital, Leeds Beckett University Business Centre, Piece Mill, Halifax

In addition to the offices and customers that the company has secured, it was also invited to take part in a recent trip to Copenhagen, as part of the Interreg scheme, supported by Leeds Beckett University.

Making further connections and contacts, the company now has more ideas and the opportunity to showcase its products to a much wider audience.

Jesse Stott, Business Centre Co-ordinator for the University of Halifax Business Centre, comments: “Candle Digital is a great example of an organisation that has recognised the value in the collaborative approach we adopt across our region and how this can impact on growth. We really do hope that more start-up and young businesses will do the same and rely on our professional network to sign-post them so that they get the help they need to reach their potential sooner.”

The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said: “Just over a month from its official launch, it’s great that the Leeds Beckett University Business Centre in Halifax is attracting ambitious local businesses.

“The support available at the Centre as part of AD:VENTURE’s Digital Shift programme is helping start-up and growing businesses to flourish, establishing Calderdale as the place to develop digital and creative business.”

For further details about Candle Digital and the products and services it offers please visit www.candle.digital and for more information about Leeds Beckett University AD:VENTURE options and business support, please call (0113) 812 4860 or visit www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/business-services.

Ambitious Yorkshire tech firm expands with six new recruits

Business expansion 2

Huddersfield-based tech firm, yboo, have recruited six new staff as the company continues its ambitious growth strategy to bring the money saving app to 60 million  smartphone users in the UK.

Loren Birkett, Keely Robinson, Josh Hoyle, Helen Cullinane, Mike Constantinou and Phil Kershaw all join the firm to raise the profile of yboo in the UK and launch a range of new features within the app to help consumers understand more and get the right mobile deal for them.

New features include detailed signal strength measurements where users live, work and hang out and rewards for sharing yboo or switching networks via yboo.

business expansion

Loren, A graduate of Huddersfield University, joins as Social Media Manager.  Loren will be delivering campaigns to ensure yboo is able to listen to and understand what Consumers want and need.  This will drive the launch of new yboo products in Q1 of 2019.

Keely, a graduate of Cardiff Metropolitan University, joins as Affinity and Affiliate Campaign Manager.  Keely will be focusing on delivering yboo Social Responsibility activity including working with schools to ensure families without broadband have access to yboo mobile broadband devices.

Josh joins as Project Developer, is leading a website redesign and leading yboo outreach to Consumers raising the profile of the yboo brand both Nationally and Internationally as yboo moves into new markets and new verticals, while Helen, who has 20 years’ experience in the telecoms industry, joins as Head of Delivery. Helen will be responsible for implementing a governance structure and ensuring people, processes and technology come together elegantly to support yboo growth.

Mike and Phil are talented developers with passion for solving real problems using cutting edge technology to process and understand millions of events and bring real value to Consumers and Mobile Operators alike.

Founder and CEO Martyn Gould said of yboo’s new recruits: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Loren, Keely, Josh, Helen, Mike and Phil to the yboo team. Each person brings something different, new skills and new views.   We now have a great blend of experience and talented youth as yboo continues its rapid ascendancy.

yboo is the only product that recommends on price and service quality saving the average Consumer £156/year with zero effort.  We compare 300,000 deals across the whole of the UK market in seconds giving Consumers real benefit and matching them to the best deal based on their unique usage pattern and behaviour.

The firm continues to recruit for additional staff to support its future development strategy which includes the delivery of an insight portal launching in early November. The portal enable will provide anonymised data to enable mobile network operators to fix blackspots in network coverage and build dynamic products to bring better value to the consumers they wish to target.