I was invited to dine with the DotForge team, their friends and the new cohort of 8 companies last night in China Town, Manchester. The most striking aspect of what I learned about DotForge last night was not that DotForge had come to Manchester, Colin Tan’s passion for helping startups nor how great the 8 companies are but their open invitation for others, who are not connected with DotForge to attend selected workshops.
As far as I know, what goes inside a typical accelerator pretty much remains a secret, unless you are one of the Up Accelerator startups. Outsiders don’t even get to know who has been selected to take part until the Demo Day. So it was refreshing to see how inviting DotForge is. This is one of the best ways to demonstrate inclusion and the desire to accelerate the growth of local tech ecosystem.
Other than the typical banter with Paul Rawlings, the greatest gift to northern tech accelerators, I had interesting conversations with Claire Braithwaite, Emma Cheshire and James Bedford. It was good to finally meet Claire, who heads the TechNorth team. Cannot wait to see how James will sort once and for all, the funding issue. And I’m looking forward to the forthcoming DotForge’s healthcare accelerator, which will make it easy for new companies to penetrate the sector and its incumbent, the NHS.