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Manchester Entrepreneurs becomes AccelerateME

Manchester Entrepreneurs has recently merged with Accelerate ME to inspire ambitious and driven entrepreneurs-both university students and alumni from the four leading greater Manchester Universities. To this date, we have supported 54 start-ups and created over 60 job opportunities alongside raising over £2.9 million in Seed and Series A funding. We offer a wide range of events and mentorship schemes including our start-up Accelerator, a unique programme built to support young founders in their journeys. Members of our Accelerator have access to a variety of financial and occupational services including equity-free funding up to 2 K to support their start-ups as well as free of charge office space for their team.

Accelerate ME’s Programme Director Olivier Welscher has answered a few questions on the rebranding and his plans for the organisation.

Q: What is the back story behind this merger? A: In the past years Manchester Entrepreneurs had multiple initiatives, at one point it became more confusing than helpful when communicating with our external stakeholders. Accelerate ME has grown stronger and stronger as a brand within the past few years, so we felt that it was the time to create one main organisation for people interested in entrepreneurship and everything revolving around it. Generally, it also makes it easier when working with partners when there is only one organisation to deal with.

Q: Olivier, what are your plans for the year? A: We will hold a range of events for people who are interested in entrepreneurship and want to learn more about what it takes to start your own business. Additionally, we will also run our yearly accelerator programme and we will start our podcast series.

Q: How can a student get involved? A: The best way to get involved right now is to attend our events and interact with other participants. If you have a business idea you can also submit an application to join the accelerator programme. We will also open applications to join the accelerator team at the end of the semester.

Q: Can students participate as business consultants too?

A: At the moment, we don’t recruit any new team members, but at the end of the first semester we will open applications for people to join the team, so keep an eye out for that!

Q: Can University of Manchester Alumni join Accelerate ME? A: Yes, recent graduates who graduated less than two years ago can join Accelerate ME.

Q: What type of policies are there to ensure business ideas aren’t stolen? A: In our accelerator programme, every participant already has a business or business idea, so essentially it is a safe space to share your thoughts and ideas about your business and to get help from others.

Q: What are your short and long-term missions as an organisation? A: We will face some new challenges this academic year due to the coronavirus and social distancing measures that follow. As a result of COVID 19 and the restrictions that follow it, we aim to produce more online content for our community, making more resources available that will help young creative people get started with their businesses. We also want to touch more on topics around social aspects of entrepreneurship and start-ups. In the medium to long term, we want to prioritise playing an important role in diversifying the Manchester ecosystem. Therefore, our aim is to increase the diversity in our cohorts in terms of gender as well as ethnic backgrounds this year.

Want to find out more and stay updated with Accelerate ME’s latest news? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to stay up to date with all the exciting news and latest updates of our community this year!

Written by Lamees Abdul Redha

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