BUDDING entrepreneurs can bring their ideas to life thanks to an innovative programme offering a unique approach to setting up North Wales start-up businesses.
SWEQUITY Exchange Wales, run by Bangor-based start-up specialists Inventorium, will bring together experts from a diverse range of backgrounds to develop early-stage businesses.
The first programme of its kind in this country, SWEQUITY Exchange Wales joins an ‘idea owner’, to a bespoke team of specialists in their respective fields.
SWEQUITY wants to hear from specialists from disciplines such as sales, marketing and IT, who are willing to give free advice, guidance and input in return for an equity stake in the new enterprise.
The idea owner and associated team then follow a part-time five-week programme to validate a concept. The programme is based on an agile and lean start-up approach so that a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is achieved very quickly.
Innovators from across North Wales are now being invited to apply for a place on the free programme, which Dyfan Searell, Design & Innovation Manager, Inventorium, says will give entrepreneurs unprecedented access to invaluable start-up expertise.
“This is a really great chance for anyone with a bright idea to access the business knowledge they need to make it an investment ready.
“Through SWEQUITY Exchange Wales, people with a variety of business backgrounds will join forces and share in a really special opportunity to get start-ups off the ground.”
“It’s a free, unique process, different from any other accelerator programme around, and the amount of knowledge and expertise on offer is absolutely priceless.”
“We’ve run SWEQUITY Exchange already in Ireland and had some fantastic results, and we’re really confident that we can start up a handful of exciting new Welsh businesses off the back of it’s UK debut.
“We’ve had a great deal of interest in the programme, and would encourage idea owners to sign up sooner, rather than later.”
The SWEQUITY Exchange Wales programme kicks off on April 11, when applicants will present their business proposals to potential team members who have the knowledge and experience to help a great idea develop.
On Thursdays throughout April and early May ideas will be honed, crafted and put to the test by each team.
The developed concepts will then be given a chance to shine at the grand final on May 9 in front of an audience of industry experts and potential investors looking for a share of the next big business opportunity. A panel of experts will also be on hand to judge the ideas.
One idea owner already signed up to SWEQUITY Exchange Wales is Joel Longbone, a design consultant from Colwyn Bay.
He said: “I’ve signed up. I’ve been to Inventorium events before and its great how the mentorship and expertise is on tap, and you learn by doing it with
your peers, not by being talked at.”
The programme has also received the backing of the Secretary of State for Wales David Jones MP, who said: "It is great to see Inventorium assisting individuals to become entrepreneurial.
“The SWEQUITY Exchange ideas accelerator brings novel concepts and experts together to create their own equity and attract commercial investment."
The Interreg 4a backed programme is provided free of charge to encourage the development of important tools and techniques of entrepreneurship and to improve the strength and quality of start-ups.
If you have a background in software, design, marketing or another area of business, or have a great idea that needs further development, the SWEQUITY Exchange Wales team want to hear from you.
Sign up for SWEQUITY Exchange Wales at www.inventorium.org/events before the closing date of March 26, or for more information contact Jenny on 01248 675013.