Saturday, October 23, 2021

Leeds funding scheme to provide launchpad for next generation of business innovators

A Leeds City Council funding scheme is set to open the door to a bright business future for a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

The council launched its Innovation@Leeds scheme earlier this year when it invited grant applications from organisations that provide training, mentoring and other forms of support for people aiming to develop their own innovation-led businesses.

Now nine successful bidders have been announced, with grants ranging from £5,000 to £25,000 being awarded following a competitive process to Open Innovations, FinTech North, Paceline, Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), Whitecap Consulting, AI Tech North, The Grad Soc, No Code Lab and Nexus in collaboration with NorthInvest.

The grants will be used to fund conferences, workshops and peer support groups for a diverse set of innovators from across the city, giving them access to the latest information on technology trends as well as opportunities to build valuable business connections.

This mix of knowledge sharing, networking and enterprise-friendly activity will, it is hoped, provide a launchpad for aspiring entrepreneurs with ideas that can help tackle problems such as climate change and poverty, while also driving Leeds’s recovery from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “Leeds is a city brimming with talent, and we want to do everything we can to help people put that creativity, spark and passion to use in ways that benefit both them and the local economy.

“These Innovation@Leeds grants will play a part in that important process by supporting some of the many local organisations that provide the training and mentoring needed to make ideas become a reality.

“We already have a fast-growing digital sector and plenty of fantastic, forward-thinking companies. Innovation@Leeds should now help shape a new generation of entrepreneurs who will write the next chapter in the city’s burgeoning tech success story.”

The grants have been funded by the council’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) budget in recognition of the challenges created by the pandemic and the need to drive economic recovery.

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