In the midst of COVID-19, Elevator has pivoted its accelerator offering to support the region’s thriving entrepreneurs.
With a massive redirection of effort and resources, Elevator moved from its traditional in-person programme delivery to take its Flagship and Creative Accelerator programmes – for the first time, digital.
On Monday 16th March, the start of week three of the current Dundee and Perth cohorts, mentors and participants - known as founders - adjusted to a whole new world of accelerator learning. Through a collaborative approach, founders have accessed workshops focused on investment, sales, growth strategies and more; each designed to help take founders’ ideas from concept to market readiness.
On 27th May, Elevator will take on another first to deliver digital showcase events for both cohorts. Dundee and Perth founders will present their unique three-minute pitches to a live audience, before short Q&A sessions.
Cat Ward, Elevator Programme Manager – Tayside, commented: “Dealing with the response and recovery to the pandemic is going to end up being a masterclass in adaptability and resiliency for all entrepreneurs. As much as our programmes offer a wonderful opportunity in these troubled times, we are acutely aware of the challenges our founders still face.
“Social distancing has made it impossible to organise a focus group, trial a product or even have a coffee shop chat to find out what customers really need. The idea of focusing on the problem rather than the solution, which is the key to any business success, has changed. So many have had to pivot and rethink ideas.
“We also know that digital tools cannot replace human connection, however we are seeing the added value in being more connected and contactable. With regular cross-cohort virtual-meetings between founders, they have gained access to even more knowledge and expertise, while building new business relationships.”
Replicating this digital model, Elevator will kick-off its Academic Accelerator on 8th June. Open to students, recent graduates and academics, the eight-week programme will act as a launch pad for those who have ideas with real potential but need support with making a business case.
Cat continued: “No-one has the answer to when life will feel relatively normal again, or when we will shift into our new-norm. But, one thing is for certain. Elevator has proven its ability to run our Accelerators online and I can’t help but have faith in the future and the entrepreneurs our programmes are shaping.”Back to all blogs