8 companies have converged in Bournemouth to become the inaugural cohort of ‘First Bourne’, Dorset’s first accelerator dedicated to digital startups.
The companies, from across the UK, have been selected after a rigorous selection process from over 90 applicants. Each receives a £25k investment from Creative England, and joins an intensive 3-month programme of business mentoring and coaching led by Silicon South. The companies are all based in a new incubation space set up by Bournemouth Council in Holdenhurst Road.
The mentors and coaches are supported by investors, entrepreneurs and the CEOs many of Dorset’s most successful digital companies. They are boosted by professionals, lawyers and accountants, as well as strategic managers in potential customer sectors such as the NHS and financial services.
The programme kicked off on the 5th September with an in-depth workshop, led by business coach Steve Taylor, where the companies interrogated their business plans and developed their strategies. Later in the week, the companies had the nerve-wracking experience of presenting their business ambitions to a crowded room of mentors and supporters.
From now on, the startups will take part a new workshop every week to investigate every aspect of their business – from operations to marketing. It all concludes in December with a pitch to angel investors and the chance of being awarded a further £50k investment from Creative England.
“The Silicon South region is a magnet for entrepreneurs. Our strong open, business economy, both in creative industries and other verticals such as healthcare, finance and advanced engineering, together with a stunning lifestyle and two world-class universities, make it a great place to be a digital innovator. By providing startups with the ability to access the right kind of mentoring, funding and expertise we hope to drive the continued growth of successful digital businesses,” Nuno Almeida, Board Director, Silicon South.
Creative England COO, Mehjabeen Patrick, commented: “By providing investment that can be combined with advice and business coaching, we’re not only giving these companies a better chance of surviving those critical early years but also helping them to overcome obstacles, create jobs, and make a valuable contribution to England’s vibrant digital economy.”
All the companies focus on a delivering an innovative digital product, but they are all very different from one another.
‘Roxxare’ has relocated from Hungary to set up their company in Bournemouth. Roxxare provides an instant eSports coaching services to connect video gamers with coaches who can take them to the next level in a game. As they like to describe themselves as ‘an Uber for eSports’.
Improving practice management and the recording of patient-specific information patient information for musculoskeletal healthcare services is exactly what MSKnote, delivers. The startup, whose founder originates from West Sussex, will deliver a front-end digital solution to provide a truly effective digital system designed by clinicians to improve the standards of patient care.
City Sail can be described as the LinkedIn of video CVs. It overcomes the mismatch in recruiting between the paper CV and the actual person behind the CV. It provides a comprehensive employment marketplace, run on artificial intelligence, which uses a candidate matching algorithm to extract the right person from a video profile. This allows employers to focus on the right candidates at the first step of the recruiting process to reduce time and costs.
Sourced from Poole, Hip Buddy is a wearable automated fall detection system for elders and vulnerable people, which immediately notifies Carers by text who can respond directly – without having to use a call centre. It’s a startup developing massively scalable assistive technology to reduce anxiety and suffering for Elders worldwide allowing them to live safer and happier.
Fairshare Platform serves businesses by providing proprietary software so that firms can more easily engage with all their shareholders in real time. It provides businesses with a cost-effective way to communicate with all of their shareholders simultaneously while reducing the noise from Social Media Platforms which are particularly problematic following damaging reports.
Set up by two graduates from Bournemouth University, Hollabox is a great addition to the accelerator. Hollabox is an app that puts the local world in your pocket. It shares meaningful local content that you can see, view and interact with when you’re on the move. Their vision will bring personal journeys to life, so you never miss those opportunities which are just around the corner.
The NHS is perhaps infamous for the distinctly C20th technology, such as pagers and faxes, that hospitals rely on. HiveWire provides a secure instant messaging app especially designed to serve doctors, nurses, pharmacists and all other healthcare professionals to bring their communication into the C21st.
INDUSTRY4.UK is a uniquely agile solutions provider for the smart industrial manufacturing sector. The company is developing innovative off the shelf transient data connection products using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, for technicians and managers on the production line, without the traditional high costs of capital investment associated with bespoke software.
First Bourne is funded through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF).
For more information please visit www.firstbourne.co.uk.