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Technology entrepreneurs pledge time to mentor promising businesses

29 April 2013

Seventy of the UK's top technology entrepreneurs and business professionals have pledged to volunteer at least one day a month to mentor start-ups and growing SMEs.

This activity will be co-ordinated via the Royal Academy of Engineering's newEnterprise Hub, which launches today (April 29).

Volunteer mentors are Fellows of the Academy, including Dr Mike Lynch, co-founder of Autonomy and founder of Invoke, Sir Robin Saxby, former Chief Executive and Chairman of ARM, and Sir David Payne, serial entrepreneur and Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton.

The Enterprise Hub is a new national resource taking'the best of the best' early stage companies and providing them with a long-term package of mentoring, training and bespoke support. It aims to bring about a step change in the success of UK based entrepreneurial technology businesses and the contribution that they make to UK economic growth, playing an important part in the Academy's Engineering for Growth campaign launched earlier this year.

Fellows - many of whom have founded and led some of the UK's most successful engineering businesses - give their time and expertise to Academy activities on a pro bono basis, making the Hub a unique proposition. To date, more than 70 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering with directly relevant expertise have volunteered a total of 840 volunteer days per year. It is expected that this number will increase as awareness of the Hub grows.

Ian Shott, Chair of the Enterprise Committee at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said, "Working with a range of partners, our vision for the Hub is to seed a culture of success amongst the most ambitious and high potential technology-intensive SMEs in the UK.

"It will build their capabilities and provide them with essential connections to established financing and business clusters that offer access to finance and routes to market. Success will be evidenced by UK companies with global vision creating substantial wealth, jobs and associated social and societal benefits."

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