A start-up company has successfully gone through a Dragon’s Den-style presentation to land the £40,000 backing of a major venture capital tech fund.
Chris Smith and Rebecca Evans started their Hebden Bridge company Prolifiko, a web-based platform that helps writers plan and execute their projects, three years ago.
Since launch Mr Smith and Ms Evans have been building and testing the platform, and earlier this year Prolifiko was recognised by Creative England as one of the top 50 companies leading the charge for the creative industries in the English regions. Now their brand is likely to become internationally known after being chosen for the European tech accelerator Ignite programme, which only invests in around 20 to 25 businesses a year.
Prolifiko has been available in limited form while in development but the aim is to launch fully in January.
Rather like BBC television’s Dragon’s Den, Chris and Rebecca had to pitch their business to Ignite following a rigorous selection process and as well as receiving £40,000 in return for six per cent of their business, they will also receive mentoring, tutoring and a highly valued start-up MBA. Rebecca said: “We had to make a three-minute pitch to give them all the information about why they should back you. A klaxon cuts you off. We were very practical. We had to beat all the other companies - there must have been another 20 and they were all good.”
Chris said: “We’re really pleased to be on the Ignite programme and the mentoring sessions have been really useful. We have been working on Prolifiko for a number of years, using local designers. This is an amazing spur to take us to the next level.”