Techies launch mentoring scheme

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A MENTORING scheme for new technology businesses has been launched in Milton Keynes.

Biztech, the new city’s forum for technology-focused businesses, has created the Biztech Business Mentoring Scheme to help smaller technology-focused firms overcome the challenges they face in a very difficult economic environment.

Biztech has worked with partners &Coaching and Milton Keynes Gateway at University Centre Milton Keynes to put together a specialist package for companies that either provide technology products and services or those that rely heavily on technology.

Biztech aims to match the skills of its mentors with companies to help them best overcome obstacles and maximising opportunities within 18 months. Individuals will be free to continue their mentoring relationships beyond the fixed end of the scheme.

Fredi Nonyelu, chairman of Biztech and executive chairman of local business Briteyellow, said: “With the third highest business start-up rate in the country, Milton Keynes will have an important role to play as a growth engine of the economy.

“The new Biztech Business Mentoring Scheme is intended to nurture talented technology entrepreneurs, to accelerate their growth by matching them with experienced business mentors.

“For mentors it will increase their knowledge and skills in coaching and supporting others, which they can take back into their own organisation or business and give them a sense of having contributed to their industry and business community.”

Professor Keith Straughan, Dean of the University Centre Milton Keynes and Director of MK Gateway, said: “This is a very important and welcome development for the city and the MK Gateway is delighted to be working in partnership with Biztech.

“The recent Cities Outlook 2012 report highlights some very promising indicators of the health of the Milton Keynes knowledge economy. We already host a wide array of successful and innovative knowledge-rich businesses, which are helping to drive economic growth. But we cannot afford to be complacent.

“To enable the city to achieve its ambitions to be an international city, we need to actively stimulate and nurture innovation and enterprise in the city. The Biztech Business Mentoring Scheme will make an important contribution to the emerging knowledge ecosystem and we look forward to its success.”

Jacky Sherman of &Coaching Ltd said: “Running your own business can be very lonely at times. Who do you turn to bounce your ideas off? Who do you go to when you’re not sure what to do next?

“It’s a privilege to be asked by Biztech to help set up this mentoring scheme and connect business owners with someone who has been where they are and is now trained and willing to pass on their experience to help others succeed.”

Biztech wants to hear from business people interested in acting as a mentor, to pass on their hard won experience for the benefit of others engaged in business.

Biztech and its partners at &Coaching and UCMK will provide expert training and support to all mentors, before and during the mentoring cycle. Doors will be formally opened to prospective mentees in early March, but Biztech is ready to hear now from anyone expressing an interest in signing up. Further details can be found at www.biztech.org.uk.