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For start-up businesses across any industry, having access to a professional network, knowledgeable advice and marketing support can mean the difference between big bucks and bankruptcy. To start, scale and succeed, the backing of trusted advisors and mentors is worth its weight in gold.

For fledgling businesses in the yachting industry, a sector notoriously adverse to change, the next generation of entrepreneurial business minds can now access a full package of support with Yachting Ventures’ accelerator programme.

Yachting Ventures has been founded by Gabriella Richardson. With a background in law, experience as a charter broker (Camper & Nicholsons) and a previous role as the Communications Director of Young Professionals in Yachting UK, Richardson has the broad industry understanding that is essential for both bringing the right team of mentors together, and identifying which business ideas have the greatest potential. Richardson has developed Yachting Ventures whilst in her current role at SeedLegal – a high-growth tech start-up, based in London, where she works as a funding & equity manager.

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Typically, an accelerator programme works by forming a community of entrepreneurs that are able to learn from each other, allowing programme participants to make connections that may not only be useful in the corporate sphere, but with likeminded individuals who are going through the same process. The community will continue long after the programme has ended, with many relationships lasting indefinitely.

Accelerator programmes help entrepreneurs to define their business model and identify how to best monetise their product. The mentor-driven approach has proven to be one of the most successful accelerator strategies and the Yachting Ventures mentors have a track record of launching innovative products and growing businesses in the yachting sector.

Mentors who’ve already aligned themselves with Yachting Ventures include Matt Ovenden – Founder of Borrow A Boat, Merijn de Waard – Founder of Superyacht Times, and Edward Thomas – Founder of SuperyachtContent.com and Gym Marine.

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Graduates of other accelerator programmes for other industries include icons of the digital age and share economy, such as Dropbox and Airbnb.

Applications for Yachting Ventures’ first Accelerator programme, starting in September, are now open. Between 10 and 15 startups will be accepted onto the 10-week programme, which will cover chapters on validation, product/market fit, how to build traction, business modelling, marketing and growth, customer acquisition and funding.

The programme is designed to fit around other commitments and even a full-time job, with recorded sessions and online content – so you can work at your own pace, wherever you are in the world. On concluding the programme, participants who need funding will be able to pitch to investors and will receive advice on other investment sources and strategies.

In a move to advocate diversity, Yachting Ventures are offering a placement free of charge to both a female entrepreneur and an entrepreneur from a BAME background.

For details on applying to the 10-week programme, which costs just £200, please visit the Yachting Ventures website

For details on joining the accelerator programme as a mentor or if you’d like the opportunity to invest in any of the startups, please contact Gabriella Richardson

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