Private sector economic development body, Opportunity North East (ONE) and Scotland’s leading business support organisation, Elevator, have announced the launch of a new business accelerator to help drive a vibrant digital economy in the North East of Scotland.

The ONE Digital Accelerator powered by Elevator, will support start-up, early stage and growth companies who are looking to develop digital solutions for commercial or industry deployment to improve business efficiency and productivity.

Intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs across the region’s diverse business community are being invited to apply for the intensive, five-day digital bootcamp where their business ideas will be tested against a range of digital technologies and business models to identify those with the greatest potential to be disruptive for commercial or industry deployment.

This first step aims to help participants develop the digital foundations for their business, while providing them with an insight into the dynamic and fast-paced Elevator Accelerator programme, which begins in September 2019.

The most promising bootcamp participants will achieve a place on the 12-week Accelerator programme, which for the first time, with ONE’s support, will include an additional digital lens exposing founders to digital tech case studies, sector experts and access to dedicated tech mentors. Participants will have access to the skills, knowledge, networks and advice to take their idea from concept through to minimum viable product stage and on to market readiness.

Maggie McGinlay, ONE Deputy Chief Executive, said: “As we encourage digital transformation to be embraced widely across our key sectors and transform our regional economy, the ONE Digital Accelerator can inspire those in the early stages of developing an idea about how to implement digital technology and tech business models right from the start while sharing sector specific expertise from ONE, Elevator, ONE CodeBase and other partners to turn the region into a global hub for people and businesses that want to engage in the industrial digital economy.”

Professor Gary McEwan, Elevator CEO, said: “When it comes to disruptive thinking, Scotland has punched above its weight for centuries. The north east has benefitted immensely from this; we are now a region full of technological developments and expertise which have added value for the digital sector.

“Our partnership with ONE will deliver the specialist support required to enhance this sector further, boosting innovative thinking and the development of disruptive digital solutions. It aims to accelerate the growth of our region’s digital tech companies, while providing our people with the cutting-edge skills and know-how to win in the digital space.

“The bootcamp is the first step to uncovering the hidden gems who are looking for the knowledge to apply digital technology to their business.”

The ONE Digital Accelerator powered by Elevator will be delivered from the recently opened ONE Tech Hub, the home of the digital tech and entrepreneurship community in the North East of Scotland. ONE led the development of ONE Tech Hub – its single largest investment to date – with Robert Gordon University (RGU) and ONE CodeBase as key partners.