Entrepreneurs, teams and organisations with enterprising ideas are being sought following the launch of an intensive programme of free business support, development and mentoring due to commence November 2018.

The Y-Accelerator programme offers the city region’s next business leaders the opportunity to benefit from a three-month fast-track development programme featuring expert advice, mentor support and specialist workshops, as well as the chance to pitch to a panel of high-profile investors including Mercia Technologies, Angels Group, Jenton Group and UK Steel Enterprise.

The programme is delivered by a partnership of the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub, Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO), Sheffield Hallam University and entrepreneur in residence from Gripple Ltd. It will be run by a team of highly experienced business specialists from the public and private sector.

Gordon McRae, special projects manager for Sheffield engineering firm Gripple, said: “Y-Accelerator’s aim is to create new businesses for the economic benefit of the region and so we are really excited to be able to offer this package of business support. The investor pitch event that concludes the programme is a unique opportunity to garner interest from major businesses.

“We’re looking for people, teams and businesses who have an innovative idea and the aspiration to build a strong new business in the Sheffield City Region.

“Applicants don’t have to be established entrepreneurs either – it doesn’t matter if they’re a student, in a job or unemployed. It’s the idea that counts and having the right attitude and commitment to see it flourish.”

Delivered through one-to-one and group sessions, tailored to meet the needs of every candidate, the Y-Accelerator programme’s network of advisors, mentors and businesses will provide insight and expertise.

The 12-week programme will run from November 2018 to February 2019 and include business modelling techniques, expert advice, mentors, specialist workshops, market research and individual support to help the ten chosen projects build a strong customer proposition and financial model as well as learn to effectively communicate the business value to customers and investors.

Amanda Parris, business growth manager for RiDO, said: “This is a programme like no other available. We want people who think differently, who we can work with to create a viable, scalable business.

“We have a highly experienced team, part of Rotherham’s network of business incubators, to support entrepreneurs. The Y-Accelerator programme is open to all industry sectors, although logistics, manufacturing, and automation are especially of interest.”

The Y-Accelerator 2018/19 is inviting applications until 31 October 2018 through the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub portal. For more information, please email:growthhub@sheffieldcityregion.org.uk, visit www.scrgrowthhub.co.uk/y-accelerator, or call 03330 000039.