The Centre of Entrepreneurship located at Dundee University’s campus was officially opened by record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont yesterday.
The building represents a £250,000 investment by social enterprise Elevator, Dundee University and other key partners.
It aims to drive innovation within businesses and commercialise new and existing technologies across life sciences, digital media, gaming and other creative sectors.
Designed to be a hub of entrepreneurship and creativity, the centre is home to Elevator’s Accelerator Programme, which advances ambitious and early-stage business owners and teams to new levels of growth and investment potential at an accelerated rate.
Brian McNicoll, manager of enterprise and entrepreneurship at the university, said: “Dundee is already renowned for its digital and computing success and the Centre of Entrepreneurship will continue to capitalise and drive our aims further to make Dundee a hub of entrepreneurship and the regional destination for enterprising start-ups.”
A second cohort of 18 entrepreneurs has recently started the 12-week Accelerator Programme at the centre.
More than 300 aspiring entrepreneurs – from the student body, university faculty and local population – have visited the centre to gain access to expert advice, professional contacts and support to scale-up and grow their business ideas.
Professor Gary McEwan, chief executive of Elevator, said: “Elevator’s Centre of Entrepreneurship has already proven to be an invaluable source of advice, networking and opportunity to aspiring entrepreneurs and innovation-driven start-ups from across Dundee and Tayside.
“Together with the University of Dundee, and other partners, we’re working to support more start-up and scale-up businesses; to provide the city with significant enterprises that will flourish and create jobs and wealth for the area, and support the entrepreneurs who will drive the future economy.”
Following the opening, Mark Beaumont delivered the Principal’s Annual Lecture in Entrepreneurship and presided over the final stage of the university’s Venture pitching competition for students, staff and graduate entrepreneurs.
Earlier in the day he appeared at the Make It Happen conference designed to inspire students and business owners.
Fifth and sixth year pupils also attended the Dundee Business Week event, which was organised by Business Gateway.
Mr Beaumont, who is also the university rector, added: “The centre is one of the first accelerators within a Scottish university and it is fantastic to see Dundee leading the way, putting innovation and student support at the heart of the university.”