Entrepreneurship

Kickstart your business in 2024

Working with a wide range of entrepreneurs last year, the Digital Greenhouse continues to cultivate an environment where people can collaborate, network and grow new ventures.

2023 saw the launch of two additional programmes, the Guernsey Startup Academy, a 10-week expert-led business accelerator and Showcase Guernsey, an opportunity for locally grown and globally focused businesses to pitch outside of the island. These programmes add further scaling to the Digital Greenhouse’s schemes to help businesses including: the Guernsey Venture Challenge, Starting Up Saturdays, the Véyaon Awards and more. 

A strong theme emerging from new ventures in Guernsey is focusing on a global market, with 2023 seeing businesses across HealthTech, EventTech, FinTech and more looking to secure a foothold on the wider markets. We are pleased to announce that 2024 will see the return of the suite of growth programmes, setting the stage for Guernsey’s entrepreneurs to start and scale their ventures to the next level. 

Starting in April, the Startup Academy will return for its second year. In 2023, Startup Academy saw 7 businesses taking part in a 10-week intensive bootcamp with Blenheim Chalcot’s Red Team developing their ventures.  This kick-start programme is specifically designed for early-stage businesses in Guernsey with growth ambition!  The programme sees experts in the field share insider know-how, tips, tricks and essential elements for investment and go-to-market strategy. The Academy aims to fuel the next wave of innovative startups on the Island and support them to ‘nail, then scale’ their ventures through a range of structured sessions and workshops. 

Ahead of the Academy, for those inspired to start thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, testing your ideas and constructing your business plan can be daunting.  At the Digital Greenhouse, we run a series of Starting Up Saturdays to give people a dedicated time to focus on their idea, providing the tools and techniques to establish those foundations and helping to build a support network.  This has proved to be a winning combination with excellent participant feedback.

This summer will see the return of the Guernsey Venture Challenge for its 3rd year. The Venture Challenge is a business accelerator with a targeted 6-week mentoring programme, working with venture-building experts Blenheim Chalcot.  With £70,000 of seed funding up for grabs, 8 local businesses were shortlisted in 2023 for the final pitch night.

In October we hosted the first Showcase Guernsey event, where we took 11 local startups over to London to pitch at Scale Space in White City. This year we are looking to continue to open more of these opportunities for businesses to realise their big-scale ambitions. 

Our goal is to make it even easier to get started on your new business and have the right support when you need it. New ideas and innovative solutions are abundant, so let's put the structures in place to support them!

As we get going in 2024, we look forward to welcoming new entrepreneurs into our programmes as well as continuing to work with our cohort of Guernsey Grown and Globally-focused businesses. With a dedicated team and host of local and international mentors ready to provide you with personalised support.  The Digital Greenhouse is here to help you take your idea to a business reality across the next year. 

This article was originally printed in Business Brief: February 2024 Issue

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