Since we opened the doors of our Elevator Centre for Entrepreneurship we have had a wealth of exciting visitors flock through the door, support from Bob Keiller (previously CEO of Wood Group and now Chairman of Scottish Enterprise); Angela Scott, Chief Executive of Aberdeen City Council; Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship at RBS; Lena Wilson, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, and our homegrown celebrity entrepreneur; Aisha Kasim, inventor of the Hot Bun and participant in the 2015 series of The Apprentice.
Not to mention the thousands of visits we have had from exciting entrepreneurs who have come to pitch to us, utilise our vibrant space, and meet with our expert advisers to discuss their start-up business idea, or growing their current business; it’s a constant hive of activity!
Graham Morgan, Deputy Chief Executive of Elevator, welcomed the First Minister to our Centre Recently and he shares some of the discussions they had on her short visit to Aberdeen.
Elevator completed building its fabulous new entrepreneurial centre in October 2015. Since then we have achieved a huge amount in the Aberdeen City and Shire region – we developed and ran the pilot Accelerator programme, we increased Business Gateway start-up numbers by 20%, we engaged with 300 people affected by the wave of redundancies affecting the North East at the PACE events, (and started 27 new business as a direct result), we held our biggest ever Entrepreneurial Conference with 1.000 attendees, we hosted our first ‘live-streamed’ entrepreneurial workshop in conjunction with Babson College in Boston, - and much more.
Even so, it’s still early days for Elevator, and so we put a lot of effort into ‘spreading the word’ to tell the world what we do.
So we were delighted to have the opportunity to welcome the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to Elevator on 1st February during her most recent trip to Aberdeen. Her first comment was that she had heard great things about Elevator – an encouraging start!
It confirms what we already knew, that our friends in Scottish Enterprise and our Ambassador Bob Keillor have been doing a good job behind the scenes in getting our message out.
The thing we were most keen to get across was that we are doing things differently in Aberdeen and that Elevator is already seeing a huge impact on both our daily interactions with entrepreneurs in the North East and in absolute start-up numbers.
The First Minister most certainly took that message away with her, - but she also had an opportunity to see us in action.
She was invited to sit in on a 3-minute pitch that happened to be going on, and to our amazement, she agreed.
So she was treated to a real, live pitch from a young entrepreneur who did not expect to be presenting to the First Minister! She worked her way through the centre after meeting and greeting other entrepreneurs based in our Accelerator Space.
It was, however, a great way for to see what we do, and hopefully, see the value that young entrepreneurs see in engaging with Elevator.
She acknowledged that there has never been a more important time to support entrepreneurs in the North East – a message she heard a lot during her most recent trip to Aberdeen. We’ll make sure she is kept up to date with our future progress.Back to all blogs