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Allia accelerator: Sign up for Serious Impact incubator

The Allia Hatchery at Future Business Centre in Cambridge: Desk space here is part of the Serious Impact Accelerator programme,
The Allia Hatchery at Future Business Centre in Cambridge: Desk space here is part of the Serious Impact Accelerator programme,

Future Business Centre will host the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs as part of social enterprise programme

Have you got an idea to make a positive impact on people, place or planet - preferably all three - in 2018?

Allia, the organisation which runs the Future Business Centre on King's Hedges Road, is inviting contenders for business support to pitch for a free programme of mentoring, advice and facilities which includes office space and can last for up to nine months.

Called the Serious Impact Accelerator, the invitation to all budding entrepreneurs is now in its fourth year.

As well as one-to-one support from Allia's experienced business advisors, the Serious Impact Accelerator programme includes three one-day 'Pillar Sessions', covering sales and marketing, operations, and finance, in addition to tactical short courses to develop skills and knowledge, and regular two-hour review sessions with the group.

Now launching its fourth intake, the accelerator has had amazing feedback from previous participants, who were delighted that group feedback sessions were one of the most helpful parts of the course. Others found the structured approach, with clear targets and objectives, helped them focus on launching their ventures.

"The programme has been very well thought out and fantastically implemented by talented and experienced staff,said Simon Robinson, a participant from the very first Accelerator."The business advisors are always prepared to go the extra distance to help my start-up at this crucial stage.

"It was the best start we could have given our business,say Rowan and William West of XOsuit Solutions, who are developing an advanced exoskeleton body armour for motor sports.

Paul Hughes, director of Enterprise Support at Allia, said:"Serious Impact has been developed to give start-ups the best possible foundations upon which to build their ventures and, as a result, to maximise the positive impact they can make. We're excited about the quality of ventures in and around Cambridge and can't wait to start working with the next cohort."

Potential candidates have until Monday (January 15) to apply for a place. Those working in the fields of cleantech, agritech, smart ciities, healthcare and education are especially encouraged to enter. The induction day takes place on January 22.

"Everyone who enters and is accepted will be invited to the induction,says Andrew Hatcher, whose responsibilities as head of enterprise at Allia include the Accelerate programme."From the induction up to 12 business ideas - run by individuals or teams - will begin a 12-week programme. At the end of the 12 weeks, if they have got some traction, they may be offered a place on the incubator programme."

The incubator offers access to Future Business Centre services and provides desk space for four people for up to nine months.

From last year's cohorts two firms went on to receive the benefits of the incubator programme. One was Corrosion Radar, whose technology detects hidden corrosion in machinery and buildings, and the second was Farming Data, which supports subsistence farmers by creating a market for surplus.

"Becoming a tenant at Future Business Centre would be the next step,says Mr Hatcher.

Spaces are open to individuals and teams who can show that their idea has the potential to make a positive impact on people, planet or place, and that they are ready and committed to making their business a success. Applications are open until January 15. Find out more and/or apply here.

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