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Reel heads up Ignite Bermuda

Sean Reel has been appointed the first executive director of Ignite Bermuda.

He has joined Ignite as it readies to begin its first entrepreneurial accelerator programme on Monday in partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark, one of the UK’s largest operators of accelerators.

Seventeen aspiring entrepreneurs have been selected for the intensive six-month initiative. A further 40 people have been selected to participate in a “light” version of the programme.

Mr Reel has held a number of senior roles in business, including chairman, chief executive officer and non-executive director. He founded and listed two companies on the London Stock Exchange, and has led or supported deals in excess of £1.1 billion including trade sales, initial public offerings and management buy-outs, as well as complex property transactions.

Mr Reel was an entrepreneurial judge and mentor for Richard Branson’s Voom Pitch programme in the UK. He represented UK Business, supporting the British ambassador in promoting inward investment from China, and is an advisor to the board of a number of venture funds and large, well-known companies. He has worked in senior roles for large international companies including Smith & Nephew, Boots, IPC Media, Haymarket, and numerous early stage businesses.

“I am proud to be part of Ignite Bermuda and to have joined the team at such an exciting time,” Mr Reel said. “Having access to a strong network and resources can really help entrepreneurs with all aspects of starting and scaling their business, and I can’t wait to be working alongside them as they pursue their dreams.”

Don McKenzie, chairman of Ignite and owner of New Venture Holdings, said: “We are delighted to welcome Sean to Bermuda and Ignite. Sean has a proven track record of entrepreneurship and mentoring start-ups, and we are fortunate to have someone of his calibre helping Bermudian entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

Neil Patterson, vice-chairman of Ignite and chairman of KPMG in Bermuda, said: “Sean’s experience is ideal for Ignite. Sean is passionate and driven to help and inspire entrepreneurs, and he also has a tremendous amount of experience founding start-ups, mentoring, and investing in early stage companies.”

Ignite, the island’s first privately-funded business accelerator, 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.

Organisers say the programme will teach entrepreneurs about cultivating the right mindset and the most effective behaviours to unlock their entrepreneurial potential.