The Difference Engine - Early Stage Funding



The intensive programme will provide the critical start-up capital (£20,000), mentor support, and dynamic working environment to allow 10 teams of digital entrepreneurs to turn their business idea into reality.

The application process is now officially underway; with would-be entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world encouraged to apply online at www.thedifferenceengine.eu before the closing date of 4 January 2010. Ten teams will be selected from a 20-strong shortlist, with the programme starting on the 15 February and finishing on 4 June. The end result will be the creation of investment ready companies.

Each year, The Difference Engine will have two 16-week cycles, both based in North East England. The first cycle starts in February 2010 at Boho One in DigitalCity Business, Middlesbrough, a state-of-the-art business and networking development for digital businesses. The second cycle will commence in July 2010 at Sunderland Software City.

The launch of The Difference Engine is a reflection upon how much unlocked entrepreneurial talent we know there is in the UK and Europe,” said Jon Bradford, managing director, The Difference Engine. “A lot of this talent never realises its potential because there is limited access for young entrepreneurs to intensive mentor lead programmes. The Difference Engine is something UK entrepreneurialism, and the digital sector, worldwide, has been crying out for.”

Key points of the programme include:

- it is open to anyone from anywhere (subject to work visas)
- there is no obligation to stay in the region after the programme
- equity investment of £20k for 8% founder stock
- it is a 16 week programme
- first intake opens mid February 2010

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