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Firstport’s "LaunchMe" Round 5 Accelerator Is Here To Help!

Firstport's "LaunchMe" Round 5 Accelerator Is Here To Help!

LaunchMe is Scotland's social enterprise accelerator. It is a business support and investment readiness programme that helps ambitious social enterprises to scale and make a greater impact. It is currently open for its fifth round of applications until 12 noon on Monday 21st October.

Who is the programme for?

LaunchMe is for social entrepreneurs who are innovative, focused on scaling their impact and prepared to take risks and work hard. While we welcome applications from all sectors, we are particularly interested in enterprises developing digital or data for good solutions to social issues.

Broadly speaking we are looking for applications from two main groups:

- Social enterprises: Either start-ups with a scalable idea and big plans for growth; or established social enterprises (up to £200K trading income) looking to develop a new product/service to diversify and grow.

- Community groups: Newly formed or well-established community groups or community enterprises looking to develop a product or an asset with the potential to generate significant income and have a positive impact in the local area.What are the benefits of LaunchMe? As a LaunchMe participant, you will be part of a selective group of ambitious social enterprises breaking new ground and achieving impact at scale. You will benefit from:

- £10,000 seed funding to get investment ready Intensive one-to-one and group-based business support
- Direct links to investor syndicates and introductions to potential investors
- A network of peers who you can share experiences, ideas and concerns with
- Access to a pool of grant funders who may act as co-investors to any private investment you secure through the programme
- Tailored advice and professional expertise from partners including Barclays Bank
- Access to Business Diagnostic and Impact Assessment digital tools
- Help to navigate the social investment arena

Programme Criteria:To be eligible for LaunchMe, you must be:
- One of the types of organisation described in the Who is the programme for section
- Operating primarily for the benefit of people or communities within Scotland
- Able to demonstrate a track record of delivering social impact or a strong potential to deliver social impact
- Ambitious, with clear growth plans but have not yet secured investment to fund your plans
- Able to commit to a programme of intensive business and investment support between March and November 2020
- Able to complete proposed growth activities in line with investment scheme requirements (see Guidance Notes for more information)

Eligible? Apply now.How the programme works: LaunchMe is an intensive programme that runs over four phases:

FindMe: August- October 2019
ChooseMe: October 2019- March 2020
ConnectMe: March-November 2020
LaunchMe: November 2020- May 2021?

How we assess your application:We will assess all applications after the deadline on 21st October 2019. Eligible applications with the greatest potential are 'longlisted' and invited to attend our LaunchPad - this is a compulsory part of the process so make sure you are able to attend (see Guidance Notes for more information).

After the LaunchPad, all the longlisted social enterprises get one to one support to develop and strengthen their business plan, which are then submitted for shortlisting. A final shortlist of around 12 social enterprises go on to pitch to our Expert Panel which selects the final seven participants.

Successful applicants will be announced in March 2020.

Have a question?Our Guidance Notes document in the Downloads section is the best place to start. The guidance explains every aspect of the programme, eligibility, criteria, key dates and more.

We are running roadshows in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness, as well as a webinar for anyone interested in applying. Find out details and sign up in our Events section.

If you can't find an answer to your question on this page or the Guidance Notes, you can give us a call on 0131 564 0331 or email us launchme@firstport.org.uk .

If you are currently studying at one of our delivery colleges, and are looking for support on a new or current business idea - get in touch!

Contact: info@bridge2business.org.uk or visit our interactive map on our homepage to find your delivery college executive!