Caryn Gibson, accelerator manager for Perth
Caryn Gibson, accelerator manager for Perth

Elevator launches new Perth accelerator programme

Elevator continues to grow by expanding into its third city with the launch of their newest business accelerator.

The Famous Grouse Ideas Centre “Accelerator Programme”, powered by Elevator, will be based within the AK Bell Library in Perth and is designed to support and encourage existing creative businesses to flourish in one of Scotland’s fastest growing sectors.

With creative industries boosting the economy by £3.7bn, and being recognised as a key growth sector within Scotland’s Economic Strategy, Elevator and its partners at the Famous Grouse Idea Centre are looking to harness the entrepreneurial energy beating at the heart of Scotland and accelerate businesses to success.

The Accelerator Programme – sponsored by The Famous Grouse – will bring together individuals and teams, of different backgrounds, knowledge and experience and take them through an immersive 12-week course to advance their business growth and potential.

Over the 12 weeks, and in the presence of other likeminded creatives, participants will be provided with the best business support and advice, motivated by inspirational speakers and mentors and will receive specialist training.

From its roots in Aberdeen, and having recently grown into Dundee, Perth is the latest branch of the social enterprise to flourish and over the course of the lifetime of Elevator’s Accelerator Programme, more than 100 businesses have been successfully launched, grown or scaled.

Jen Laughlin of Jen Laughlin Designs, designer of high-end electronic integrated knitwear and Accelerator participant in Dundee, said: “Developing a creative business is a very intimate and personal thing. You’re infusing your product with your creativity, heart and soul. When you’re immersed in that it’s still important that you learn how to develop the commercial side of your business and make those much-needed connections.

“Participating in Elevator’s Accelerator Programme provides you with the tools, lessons and knowledge to do that and what is provided is second to none support. Hearing how other people have started their business, how they’ve turned their vision into the reality of a sustainable business, it fuels your drive and gives you the motivation to make your own story and realise your own dreams.”

Caryn Gibson, Accelerator manager for Perth added: “We’re on a mission to create an initiative that makes an economic, social and cultural impact across not only Perth but the Tay Cities Region too. We won’t stop until we’ve accomplished that mission and accelerated the best and brightest business minds onto the path of success. We want to enhance Perth’s position as a powerhouse of entrepreneurialism and the launch of our newest Accelerator is the next step in doing this.”

Councillor Colin Stewart, Convener of the Council’s Environment, Enterprise & Infrastructure Committee, said: “Growing the creative industries in Perth and Kinross is one of the key areas we are focusing on going forward; and projects such as this is one of the ways in which we are able to provide the support, guidance and resources required to help new start-up businesses find their feet.”

The Accelerator Programme will sit alongside the “Creative Pipeline” and “Incubator” business support programmes, delivered by Culture Perth and Kinross and the Cultural Enterprise Office respectively. The trio of initiatives will offer business support from pre-idea, through to start-up, and ongoing support for established and growing businesses.

All initiatives will be delivered as part of the Famous Grouse Idea Centre, an innovation and ideas lab being managed by the Perth and Kinross Business Development Team, and made possible thanks to support from The Famous Grouse and funding through The Scottish Cities Alliance and European Regional Development Fund.