‘Dragon’s Den’ event helps launch project for start-ups

A FRESH bid to give entrepreneurs a boost during the pandemic in getting their ideas off the ground has been launched with a Dragon’s Den- style pitching event.

Picture supplied by Digital Jersey (Ryan O'Shea Photography)
Picture supplied by Digital Jersey (Ryan O'Shea Photography)

The Springboard platform – Jersey’s first ever crowdfunding website – invites would-be investors to register their interest in funding new businesses and start-ups that are based in the Island for the incentive of rewards, similar to well-known sites such as Indiegogo or Kickstarter.

The project launched this week with a pitching event which saw four local entrepreneurs attempt to impress potential investors, all of whom are now live on the Springboard.je website.

As well as crowdfunding, where up to £50,000 can be raised by online backers, the platform also provides a database of businesses looking for larger sums of money through more traditional-style equity investing.

In 2017, a government-led attempt to support start-up businesses collapsed amid major controversy over the way taxpayer-funded loans given by the Jersey Innovation Fund were handled and recouped.

Digital Jersey chief executive Tony Moretta said that springboard.je was ‘an incredibly exciting opportunity for Jersey’ that would bring it up to speed with other jurisdictions.

He said: ‘Local entrepreneurs have struggled to find funding routes for their start-ups, businesses that we hope will go on to employ local people and provide revenue to the Island.

‘It has stifled innovation. To date, if you wanted to raise a few thousand pounds to around a hundred thousand, your only options were to fund it yourself or go to family or friends.

‘This puts Jersey entrepreneurs back on a level playing field with those in the UK and elsewhere, who have had this facility for many years.’

Springboard was developed by Digital Jersey, which is a government-backed body, and supported by Jersey Business, the Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Directors, Infinite Lightbulb, Envestors and the Digital Leadership programme.

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