Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest, the world’s largest free business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures, has added international law firm Pinsent Masons to the growing list of high profile partners who are providing support and networks to entrepreneurs all over the UK.
Pinsent Masons joins the alliance between NatWest, Ulster Bank and Entrepreneurial Spark to provide Chiclets (entrepreneurs) in the Hatcheries (accelerators) with expert business advice, offering entrepreneurs across England, Wales and Northern Ireland first-class support.
The new partnership was formed following Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest’s rapid growth across the UK. Since opening in Glasgow in 2011 the business accelerator has expanded across 11 locations throughout the country, as well as opening Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by Viridian in India. With an additional Hatchery opening in London in 2017, the organisation is working with over 800 startups to help them become credible, bankable and investable.
Lawyers from Pinsent Masons will provide Chiclets with legal expertise that will support and protect business growth and interest.
Pinsent Masons will ascribe a team of three lawyers, who will be known as a ‘Legal Eagle’, to each Hatchery. At each location, the lawyers will take part in fortnightly Partners’ Corner sessions, during which Chiclets can drop in and ask any of Entrepreneurial Spark’s partners for advice; run 30-minute legal clinics for more in-depth or confidential issues, and also hold master classes on the legal issues that will be of most interest to Chiclets.
Joining existing Eagles (partners) NatWest, Ulster Bank, KPMG and EMC, the international law firm will be at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship through their work with startups on board the business accelerator programme.
Lucy-Rose Walker, Chief Entrepreneur Officer and co-founder of Entrepreneurial Spark, said: “Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by NatWest are determined to give entrepreneurs all the support they need to succeed – that is why we are looking to bring on board high calibre partners such as Pinsent Masons. We want our Chiclets to be aware and ahead of all the legal issues they may face as entrepreneurs, whether it’s intellectual property, contract law, investment or regulatory issues.
“Pinsent Masons is a great addition to our network of Eagles and shares Entrepreneurial Spark’s values of entrepreneurship, collaboration and ambition.
“As we continue to expand across the country, and internationally, it’s incredible to be joined by such high calibre partners that share our vision of developing the entrepreneurs behind the businesses and encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset in all aspects of life.”
Barry McCaig, Partner at Pinsent Masons, said: “Pinsent Masons is an enterprising firm and we pride ourselves on being able to find innovative solutions for our clients.
“We have an established national presence, entrepreneurial culture and extensive experience of working with startups and helping them to scale up their operations, making us a natural choice for Entrepreneurial Spark.”
“This is an exciting opportunity for us to build relationships with new and innovative businesses while helping to ease the growing pains that businesses experience in their early stages.”
Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship at NatWest, said: “To have Pinsent Masons on board with us is a fantastic boost to the all-around support we are able to offer entrepreneurs. By working together we can provide the infrastructure, networks, contacts, expertise and mentoring, that can really make a difference to help these fledgeling businesses and high-impact entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground and build their business dreams into reality.
Entrepreneurial Spark’s Chiclets have raised over £45million investment across the UK to date, with a combined turnover of £85million, and have created over 1,800 jobs since the business accelerator launched in 2011.