Friday, July 28, 2017

News: Pitch to Chinese dragons

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Enterprising businesses in Rotherham and the wider Sheffield city region (SCR) are being offered the chance to pitch to some of China's wealthiest investors.

The SCR is co-hosting the Horasis Global China Business Meeting 2017. From November 5 - 6 over 300 participants from business and government will attend this intense two-day programme, designed for senior decision makers from China and the world, to identify business opportunities and economic development.

Added to the programme is a unique version of the successful Y-Accelerator programme which involves entrepreneurs going through an intense course of advice and support in order to become "investor-ready."

Now, businesses based in the SCR wanting to expand into the Chinese market or to secure investment to accelerate growth are being urged to apply for the programme and the chance to pitch at the high profile event.

Start-ups with sufficient market validation are also being encouraged and ten businesses will be selected to participate, starting in early September.

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Over the course of an intensive eight weeks, potential pitch makers will commit to 1-2 days/week to work with the Y-Accelerator team and a network of leading business specialists.

The aim is to develop customer focused solutions, prototype concepts, pitch and accelerate ideas to market with a focus on China and ultimately grow a sustainable business.

All ten businesses will pitch at an investor event held in conjunction with the University of Sheffield's Business Innovation Network (BIN) at the end of October. Of these, four will then be selected to pitch at the Horasis event.

The event follows on from a recent pilot enterprise initiative (pictured) that exceeded expectations. The Y-Accelerator programme was developed by RiDO, the regeneration arm of Rotherham Council that provides business support and incubation space. The UKSE Y-Accelerator, launched by Y-Accelerator and UK Steel Enterprise and funded by the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub, included a 12-week development initiative from RiDO and a final pitch event where four of the eight companies taking part were offered finance.

The success of the pilot has led to RIDO, the regeneration arm of Rotherham Council, working up proposals with the Growth Hub and private sector partners to operate five more accelerator programmes over the next two years. A bid has been submitted for EU funding to support the project.

Y-Accelerator website
RiDO website

Images: SCR Growth Hub


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