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Ignite Bermuda engages fourth cohort of entrepreneurs

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Two years after launching its first entrepreneurial accelerator programme, Ignite Bermuda has kicked off its fourth cohort for aspiring entrepreneurs and their start-ups.

Together with key stakeholders in the community, Ignite offers a formalised business curriculum for entrepreneurs to improve their skill sets and a network of mentors and investors to provide enablement and access to capital.

The programme has doubled in size since its inception, and now includes participation by several leaders of non-profit organisations.

Since boot camp at the beginning of the month, Ignite said each lead entrepreneur or co-founders have had their first one-on-one enablement meeting with a member of the Ignite team, established mastermind groups and accessed the co-working space housed in the heart of Hamilton.

Laura Lyons, Ignite manager, said: “In these first few weeks, the entrepreneurs have so much to process and digest as a result of boot camp and their ideation meeting with us.

“The Ignite ecosystem is jam-packed with information, entrepreneurial tools and opportunity thanks to our support community; it has been described as being handed a thousand-piece puzzle and not being sure which piece to start with.”

Over the next few months, the organisation said entrepreneurs accepted into the core Ignite programme will have the opportunity to work on their business, to put the first puzzle pieces together, and gain accountability from both their enabler and fellow cohort members in order to accelerate their growth.

Ms Lyons added: “At Ignite, we focus on the entrepreneurial mindset and the person behind the business. Our one-to-one meetings and accountability for taking action are a big part of that process where the Ignite team help challenge and support the entrepreneurial leader.

“The Ignite ecosystem embraces a collaborative model, where we support each other and often think through the challenges together. Ultimately it is up to the entrepreneur to implement the learnings in their business.”

Although more like an entrepreneurial showcase, Ignite said the first pitch competition for the fourth cohort was held on the second day of boot camp.

Jodi Virgil, Kathleen Sharpe Keane, Carrie De Silva, and Raisa Tuzo were the top four finalists selected by a judging panel for their ability to, in one minute or less, clearly explain the problem they are solving and for whom.

Ignite said Ms Sharpe Keane was also highlighted as the “interns’ choice” by the young adults participating in Ignite’s pilot internship programme, who viewed the competition virtually.

The organisation said it remains focused on building a world-class ecosystem focused on creating jobs and diversity for Bermuda.

Ms Lyons said: “In 2020, we learnt to embrace uncertainty; as a result, Ignite has piloted new programmes, pivoted online, and yet the importance of a connected community remains at the heart of what we do.”

Entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders chosen for the fourth cohort of Ignite are:

Alyson Thompson, Cedarberry Foods; Amy Peniston and James Robinson, Cactus Ltd; Carrie De Silva, Carrie Lee Fitness; Dr Charlotte Andrews, Living Heritage Ltd; Craig Smith, The Greenhouse Bermuda; Davida O’Brien, Que’s Exchange; Deidra-Lee Bean, Aruna Dismont and Gavin Smith, Good Job.

Elizabeth Stewart, Action on Alzheimer's and Dementia; Dr Gina Tucker, EduCoach; Gwendolyn Creary, ParentGuide; Holly Mazar-Fox, Mazar-Fox Art Consulting Ltd; Jana Outerbridge, Mayvera Wellness; Jeanette Matthew, HR Insights; Jenny Faries, Island Ophthalmology Ltd; Jodi Virgil, Organized Solutions Bermuda.

Kathleen Sharpe Keane, Fair Winds; Lisza Rawlins, Prophesy Your Destiny; Marcelle Lawrence, Travels & Paddles; Marie Fay, Northstar Dementia Care Services; Milton Raposo, Method Media; Nadia Hall, Nadia Hall; Nadia Laws, The Media Maven; Nicola Paugh, IAC; Raisa Tuzo, 1616 Premium Cocktails.

Reva Minors, Loquat Roots: Doula Services & Holistic Therapy; Sean Fubler, Unity Edible Landscapes; Stuart Kriendler, B E Solar; Susann Smith, VetSmith; Suzanne DeCouto, Mount Saint Agnes Academy Foundation; TeAnn Hassell, R.E.A.L.; and Tiffany Paynter, Tiffany Paynter.

The application period for the next cohort will be announced in the autumn.

More information about Ignite Bermuda’s accelerator programme can be found online at www.ignitebermuda.com.

Nadia Hall, standing, is among the participants in the fourth cohort of Ignite Bermuda (Photograph supplied)
Ignite Bermuda director Sean Reel, back to camera, addresses members of the fourth cohort while pitch judge Dylan Marshall of KPMG, in front row, looks on (Photograph supplied)
Collaborative approach: Ignite Bermuda participants, from second left, Gwendolyn Creary, Marcelle Lawrence, TeAnn Hassel and Tiffany Paynter, back to camera (Photograph supplied)

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Published June 28, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated June 28, 2021 at 7:33 am)

Ignite Bermuda engages fourth cohort of entrepreneurs

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