Applications open for Y-Accelerator 2019/20 programme

We’re excited to announce that applications are now open for the Y-Accelerator 2019/20 programme and Sheffield entrepreneurs, start-ups and businesses can now apply to take part in the intensive 12-week programme which offers the chance of winning a £1,000 investment prize.

The Y-Accelerator programme is offering budding business leaders the exclusive opportunity to benefit from a fast-track development package which includes specialist workshops, free expert support, development and one-to-one mentoring.

During the 12-week project, which runs from October 2019 to January 2020, each business or entrepreneur will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to an audience of potential investors. UK Steel Enterprise is offering the £1,000 prize to the best pitch on the night.

Applications will be open until 15th September, when we will select 10 projects to join the programme. They will be supported in building a strong customer proposition and financial model, as well as learning to effectively communicate their business value to potential customers and investors.

In partnership with RiDO, the programme is led by business experts from both the public and private sector - including a resident entrepreneur from Sheffield engineering organisation Gripple Ltd. on behalf of the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub.

Amanda Parris, business growth manager at RiDO, said: “The Y-Accelerator programme is a truly fantastic, unique initiative and we offer a very bespoke package for the people we work with. As well as a great idea, we want to work with people who think differently and who will soak up our specialist advice to create a viable, scalable business.

“People from all industry sectors are encouraged to apply, although logistics, manufacturing, and automation are especially of interest. We are delighted to run the programme for the sixth time, and we are looking forward to working with some more exciting businesses.”

Gordon McRae, special projects manager at Gripple, said: “We are really excited to be involved in the Y-Accelerator for the third time. With a strong aim to create and strengthen new businesses for the economic benefit of the region, Y-Accelerator will work hard to provide specialist workshops and expertise for people in a completely tailored way.

“The programme is a fantastic chance to not only gain specialist business expertise, but an opportunity to really take advantage of in-house advice, a strong network of industry contacts and experience of creating a strong business model.

“If you or your team have an innovative idea and have an aspiration to build a strong new business in the Sheffield City Region, then we want to hear from you. We’re looking for all stages of applicants – students, employed or unemployed people are all encouraged to apply – it’s the idea and ambition that counts.”

The Y-Accelerator 2019/20 is inviting applications until 15th September through the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub portal. For more information, please email:, visit or call 0333 000 0039.