Ignite Bermuda sparks major interest
A total of 181 aspiring entrepreneurs have applied for the 15 positions available in Ignite Bermuda, the island’s first privately run entrepreneurial accelerator programme.
The interview process begins this week as organisers seek to determine who will be accepted into the intensive six-month initiative.
An additional 40 places will be offered to individuals who can benefit from a “light” version of the programme. This additional group will be supported through lunch-and-learns and workshops over the same six-month period, Ignite says.
Organisers say 63 per cent of applications were received from solopreneurs, while 37 per cent were received from two or more founders/employees. Some 62 per cent of applications were from women.
An Ignite spokesperson said applicants cited their greatest challenges as securing enough funding to get their venture off the ground or grow, balancing holding down a job while the business is in its infancy, having the technical knowledge and skills to run the business, and overcoming the psychological challenges of being an entrepreneur, including fear of failure.
Individuals not selected for the limited first cohort will be eligible to reapply later in the year for the next cohort of 50, which will kick off in January 2020.
Ignite says applications have been received from a broad cross-section of the community and include a variety of ideas across all sectors. Applicants include people with new ideas for start-ups as well as small business owners looking to scale and grow in markets outside Bermuda.
The Ignite programme is designed to enhance the island’s ecosystem for start-ups and small businesses by providing entrepreneurs with access to a formalised network of mentors and advisers, and developing an investor network to match-up with start-ups.
A two-day boot camp on May 6 and 7 will kick off the first cohort, which features a customised-for-Bermuda curriculum designed to enhance an entrepreneur’s business skills.
Organisers say the programme will teach entrepreneurs about cultivating the right mindset and the most effective behaviours to unlock their entrepreneurial potential.
Cofounded by KPMG and New Venture Holdings, Ignite will be housed in the 4,000-square-foot Ignite Bermuda Hub Space in the Argus Building on Wesley Street, Hamilton, which has been donated by Argus.