Designed to accelerate the growth of early-stage companies who are in the process of launching or planning to launch new to market products and services.
What is the Accelerator Programme?
The Digital City Accelerator Programme has been developed by leading industry experts using best in class methods and approaches that guarantee to provide the right support at the right time for each business to start, survive and thrive.
You'll hear from various keynote guest speakers each week on a different topic from leadership and team building to law and IP and raising finance.
After an initial induction around what the programme will cover, the formats used and a discussion regarding mind-set and learning methods with the group, you’ll dive straight into a Lean Up / Human Centred Design boot camp.
This includes an introduction to Design Sprints and how they’re used, the 10 principles that redefine management from a design perspective and finding out about the ‘Brand Deck’ approach for identifying brand values and brand-driven innovation.
To help towards your product development decisions and market understanding, the Customer Development workshop will educate you on the importance of finding out customer pain points and identifying how your product or service can solve them.
With several interactive tasks you’ll gain an understanding of how a start-up business is different to a traditional business and the challenges they’re faced with. Including start-up capabilities, the values and responsibilities of co-founders, the struggles of being an entrepreneur and building scalability into the organisation. You’ll also find out about different team dynamics and identifying how your team will operate in a fast-moving market.
You will be offered a one-to-one session with our partner Endeavour Law who will discuss your legal requirements with you. This may include IP, copyright, patents and partnership contracts, all of which will be delivered in a friendly manner bespoke to your organisation’s needs.
This workshop will equip you with the knowledge and skills your early-stage business needs to drive affordable and sustainable growth. You’ll learn market-leading mind-sets, marketing and branding hacks and the importance of keeping track of your businesses traction.
To help towards your financial decisions, you’ll be shown various business models and given help on the different sources of finance available and their benefits including Business Angels, equity investment, grants and loans. You’ll also be given guidance on the ways of structuring different types of money, business debt and the financial vocabulary used in the business world.
The final workshop will cover the main methods to consider in your pitch deck ahead of presenting to a wide range of potential investors at the Demo Day. You’ll find out the best ways to prepare and the level of background knowledge that you’re expected to provide. As well as tips and tricks on things to include to get the audience excited about your idea, engaged in a conversation about your business and ultimately lead to an investment.
The Demo Day is the grand finale of the programme and provides you with a chance to pitch your digital products and services for the very first time to an audience made up of individuals and organisations that could add real value to your business. These include funding managers, investors, Local Authorities and University Research Institutes.
What else do I get?
The mentoring activities fully complement the overall workshop programme allowing participants to deep dive into the areas critical to the needs of their individual business growth and as identified by the concepts, thoughts, and issues developed within the workshops delivered. An agreed approach and mentoring plan are developed in collaboration with each participant.
Each SME will be assessed against existing successful company comparators and a personalised growth plan developed based on the strengths and weaknesses of the individual leading the organisation. Any other gaps and opportunities identified will be clearly recorded and addressed through the mentoring activities.
The SME CofE mentors that have been chosen to support the programme are from a wide variety of backgrounds and bring a wealth of industry experience and networks with a focus on the three biggest enablers on business growth – innovation, internationalisation/new markets, and digital transformation.
Our series of high impact group sessions include:
Interactive high impact learning
Small experienced cohorts
All of the resources you'll need to succeed
One to one support
By completing the SME Accelerator Programme, you will:
Overcome business challenges, recognise and act on new opportunities
Build a trusted network of connections to support you now and in the future
Improve your long-term personal and business performance