Dotforge Impact supports socially motivated entrepreneurs to create impactful tech companies that improve society.
From empowering individuals with information to bringing essential services to marginalised populations, digital technology is a powerful tool for change. We help young start-ups harness this power to make a positive impact.
We’ve developed a socially focused 13-week accelerator centred around mentorship, workshops, resources and collaboration. We provide teams with an initial £18k funding, a fantastic space to work, and the support of a vast network of talented people.
Our support doesn't end there. We continue to work with our alumni teams on building and growing their companies long after the programme finishes.
Dotforge Impact operates in partnership with the Key Fund, The Royal Society for the Arts and is part of the Cabinet Office’s £10M Social Investment Fund, which invests in early technology ventures that make a social impact.1. How will you benefit from Dotforge Impact?
2. More than an accelerator
3. Who are we looking for?
How will you benefit from Dotforge Impact?
Whether to develop your product, expand into a new area or focus all your time on building your business, we’ll provide you with £18k in the form of an uncapped convertible loan note to get you started.
You will receive total funding of £30,000 via a convertible loan note. A convertible loan converts to equity upon the closing of a further round of investment. Of this £30k, £10,000 plus VAT is a programme fee and £18,000 is funding to support your company. If you become VAT registered you get the £2,000 back.
Mentorship from 60+ industry-relevant mentors
Benefit from one-on-one mentoring from experienced individuals who can provide insight and guidance to help you build your business.
You will have the opportunity to enrich your network through our partnership with the Royal Society of the Arts, a diverse fellowship of over 21,000 business and social entrepreneurs. We will also provide you with introductions to members of our diverse community who can help you succeed.
Office Space @centralworking during the 3 month programme and for an additional 3 months after the programme is complete.
Central Working Manchester is part of a network of business members clubs offering: working space, community and support to more than 800 companies. The space is conveniently located in the heart of Manchester City Centre, right in the middle of the burgeoning Manchester tech community.
High quality investor network and access to a dedicated £500,000 post-accelerator investment fund.
Over time, we have developed longstanding relationships with many investors interested in funding early stage ventures. We will help you refine your pitch, generate interest, and close investment from within our network and yours.
The Key Fund is the most prolific community development finance institution in the UK. Our partnership means will have access to a further dedicated fund of £500,000 upon completion of the programme for second round investment.
The Dotforge Programme
The Dotforge Programme was developed by Entrepreneur in Residence, Colin Tan. The 13 week curriculum focused around pitch, product and metrics will help you to refine your business model, identify your target market and gain the traction you need to raise further investment.
- Month 1 - Product: sessions on business model and metrics
- Month 2 - Growth: customer development, legals and accounts
- Month 3 - Finance: sources of finance, refining your pitch, presence
More than an Accelerator
Dotforge was created by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. We understand the challenges facing early stage companies from our own experience and can share what we’ve learned to help you succeed.
Our support extends far beyond the initial 13 weeks. Teams are welcomed into the Dotforge community and continue to benefit from our resources and experience long after the programme ends. We are in it with you for the long term.
Our prolonged commitment to the success of your company is reflected in a small equity stake of 2%.
We believe that the open exchange of knowledge and experience leads to the greatest impact. Each member of every team brings with them a unique set of skills and perspectives. We encourage teams to support each other throughout the programme and beyond.
Who are we looking for?
Tech Social Ventures
Broadly speaking, a tech social venture is any company that seeks to use technology to achieve a positive social impact. As for how this is done, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re a tech startup embracing social values, or a social enterprise using technology to amplify your impact, we are interested in supporting young companies to harness the power of digital technology to create change.
Typically, we look for early stage start-ups that can commit to being in Manchester full time for the duration of the programme. We tend to recommend a team of 2 or more people (usually at least one person with a technical background). Accelerators are intense and in order to get the most out of the programme, it helps to have a team to share the workload.
If you don’t currently meet the profile of teams we typically look for, but still think Dotforge Impact would be a good fit for your venture—don’t hesitate to apply. We are happy to review your application and provide insight as to whether we may be able to invest in your idea in the future.