Dundee centre to support digital start-ups
A new centre designed to support start-up companies in the digital, technology and creative media sectors is being launched in Dundee.
IDEAScotland plans to support up to 10 fledgling firms to develop into successful and sustainable businesses in its first year.
The scheme is a collaboration between brightsolid, DC Thomson and both Abertay and Dundee universities.
It is being funded by an initial investment of £250,000.
The centre will be based at the University of Abertay and will provide successful applicants with virtual networking, equipment, business mentoring and introductions to investors, as well as free workspace.
IDEAScotland will work closely with the IDEALondon start-up centre at Tech City in Shoreditch, which was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in December 2012.
IDEALondon was established by Cisco, DC Thomson and University College London with the aim of supporting the growth of digital and media companies there.
The two centres will share investor links, business opportunities and customer testing.
The programme will see start-ups develop their teams and customer base, work on prototypes and participate in roadshows to pitch their product and organisation to potential investors.
The head of emerging technologies at brightsolid, Kenny Lowe, said: "Dundee has a long and vibrant history of innovation in the technology and digital media sectors that brightsolid is very proud to be a part of.
"Through the IDEAScotland centre we are looking forward to helping jump start a new wave of exciting business ventures, leveraging support and information channels that wouldn't traditionally be available to start-ups."
DC Thomson's director Richard Hall described the programme as an exciting opportunity to further promote digital entrepreneurs in the UK, especially in Dundee.
The programme will also link with an Abertay University scheme which offers up to £25,000 to help small and new businesses create prototypes of games and other interactive digital content.
The director of business development at Abertay University, Paul Durrant, said: "IDEAScotland builds on our successful UK Prototype Fund in investing in digital start-ups, and we look forward to supporting exciting new companies that have the potential for rapid growth with the support of the partners and investors."
Professor Tom Inns, dean of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) at the University of Dundee, said it was an important development for the city.
He said: "IDEAScotland will form a key programme for our graduate and research talent. Opportunities for new digital businesses are emerging from all the discipline areas within DJCAD.
"Building future business opportunities in Dundee in collaboration with international networks can only be good news for all stakeholders in the region."