Northern Ireland-based accelerator programme NISP Connect has launched a programme to deliver free mentoring support to science and technology entrepreneurs.
Called Springboard, it’s backed by a panel of experienced entrepreneurs and executives in residence and is open to innovators with the potential to achieve £10m (€11.5m) to £100m (€115m) turnover within five to 10 years.
Springboard is targeting companies operating within the life sciences, clean tech, high tech and digital media and software sectors.
It will deliver bespoke support, regardless of where the company is in the business development cycle. Accordingly, it will invite applications from companies at proof of concept, technology transfer, or ‘investment ready’ stages. It will also mentor companies that are in transition, whether launching a new product or planning to enter a new market.
12 weeks of coaching
Companies accepted into the programme will spend six to 12 weeks in coaching sessions with NISP Connect”s entrepreneurs and executives in residence. They will then get to make a presentation of their business model to a tailored group of experts relevant to the specific business.
The entrepreneurs will each receive feedback on their business plan to allow them to refine and improve the plan. From this, they will then continue to work with their appointed entrepreneur or executive in residence to implement a strategic development plan for the next six to 12 months.
“This type of programme did not exist here when I was considering starting my first business and there is no doubt that if it had been, the journey would have been so much easier,” said Denis Murphy, entrepreneur in residence.
“The access to one-on-one coaching with an experienced mentor and then to have your business model tested by a range of industry and business experts is an amazing opportunity for local technology entrepreneurs. Not only will it greatly improve the existing entrepreneurs’ chances of success, but it should make it much easier for local ‘would be’ entrepreneurs to have the confidence to take their innovative ideas forward and to test their business potential.”