A global pre-accelerator programme that aims to support early-stage technology startups has launched its UK operations from Sunderland Software City.
FoundersBoost UK - part of global startup support brand FoundersBoost - is a mentor-driven programme which is designed to support promising early-stage tech startups.
The programme runs online for six weeks, offering sessions on investment and revenue. FoundersBoost does not take equity in companies accepted onto the programme.
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More than 150 companies applied to take part in the programme, with eight companies making the cut. The companies involved operate in areas from health and wellbeing to training and accessibility. They include Durham-based Train Air, which provides a platform to connect buyers of training to those who deliver it.
Programme lead and startup and growth manager at Sunderland Software City Mark Gardner said: “Helping these promising businesses gain access to experienced insights and advice from those who have been there and done it, will be massively beneficial for our cohort, at a crucial stage in their development.
“We had our first onboarding session this week and we’re very excited to see what this diverse and quality group of budding entrepreneurs can achieve.”
The programme will see the participating companies get exposure to startup advisors from the US and also specialists in the North East, including Software City’s in-house team of digital technology experts, who will also work to collate learnings from the programme to support Sunderland’s current digital technology sector.
Michael Dunn, head of enterprise at Sunderland Software City, said: “At Sunderland Software City we’re on a mission to help Sunderland achieve its ambitious vision of being a leading smart city. To achieve this, we need to continue to grow as a city with ongoing initiatives that will help brilliant businesses to thrive.
“Having direct access to the FoundersBoost network will allow us to nurture ties with experienced technologists and operators across the globe, which will strengthen the North East’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This first cohort has real potential and we look forward to seeing local tech businesses in Sunderland benefit from such initiatives in future.”
Liz St Louis, assistant director for smart cities at Sunderland City Council, said: “The delivery of our ambitious Smart City Plan for Sunderland involves nurturing and growing many partnerships that increase our ability to support digital leaders who are shaping a new direction to live, work and thrive.
“With our investment in next generation digital infrastructure and developing a whole range of use cases to enable transformational change, we’re proud to be putting digital at the heart of Sunderland’s future.”