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Entrepreneurs sought in Fellowship scheme’s anniversary year

01 May 2014

 

Aspiring entrepreneurs are being encouraged to sign up for a fellowship scheme which has helped to create hundreds of new businesses in the Tees Valley over the last decade.

The DigitalCity project, based at Teesside University, is celebrating its 10th year and is inviting applicants for its latest round of fellowships which help young digital businesses get off the ground.

DigitalCity Fellows receive up to £4,000 to cover their living expenses while they develop a product or business idea.

They also receive industry-specific mentoring and advice from leading figures and access to workshops and networking events and also the use of specialist equipment.

Since it was set up in 2004, the DigitalCity project has helped to create a £174m digital supercluster in the Tees Valley which is ranked at number 16 in a list of the UK’s digital hotspots, the only one north of Birmingham.

In addition, a 2012 report by the KSA Partnership revealed that DigitalCity had helped 250 graduates to establish 216 companies and was contributing £20m a year Gross Value Added (GVA) to the North East economy.

The DigitalCity scheme has also been praised at a national level and recently played a key role in helping Teesside University win the highly prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Academic Excellence.

David Jeffries, Head of DigitalCity, said: 'Over the past 10 years, the DigitalCity Fellowship scheme has been the springboard for hundreds of successful companies across the region.

'The support that fellows receive, both financial and also the invaluable advice and mentoring from key professionals, removes a lot of the risk typically associated with early stage start-ups.

'We have also helped to create a collaborative digital economy in the Tees Valley and Fellows find that the contacts made and the links forged over the course of their fellowship also help to ensure the future success of their business.

'We would encourage anyone with an innovative digital business idea to make contact as soon as possible.'

DigitalCity Fellowships are available to individuals and teams, based in the North East, who have graduated from University.

This project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013 is bringing over £300m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.


ERDF


The deadline for the next round of Fellowships is 19 May. For more information call 01642-384334 or click here.