Do you do business in your region? Sign up to our daily bulletin to keep up-to-date.
Veteran Apprentice contestant to launch Croydon startup studio
Posted by Billy Wood on 20 Mar 2017
Serial entrepreneur and prolific pre-seed investor, Raj Dhonota, is to pair up with Sussex Innovation Croydon to launch a new working space that will support the area’s pre-seed startups and SMEs.
Dhonota, who rose to fame after appearing in the first series of BBC’s The Apprentice back in 2005, will helm a ‘startup studio’ at the business incubator in Croydon where he will provide mentoring and knowledge to promising startups from the borough’s burgeoning tech scene.
Housed within the One Croydon building which sits near East Croydon station, the facility is part of Sussex Innovation’s incubation network which is spread across the South East and currently hosts more than 150 members, including entrepreneurs, startups and other innovators.
Dhonota, meanwhile, has become something of a prolific tech investor since his appearance on the BBC series 12 years ago, having invested around £3m in over 60 promising early-stage companies in recent years.
Ahead of the launch of this latest venture, he commented: “It’s incredibly exciting to be part of the growing tech and business scene in Croydon.
"I firmly believe that with Igniva’s involvement and my years of experience as a pre-seed investor in the space, together we can be the best stepping stone for hundreds of aspiring young businesses, leading the future for UK entrepreneurs.
"With its passion for facilitating startups and entrepreneurs, Sussex Innovation Croydon seemed like a natural setting for us to achieve this goal.“
Mike Herd, Executive Director of Sussex Innovation, added: "We’ve got a great track record of matching businesses with suitable investors who can help them to achieve their full growth potential, but we also have a duty to help our members understand this bigger picture and get themselves ‘investor ready’.
"We’re confident that Raj will be a huge asset to our community, not just as a successful serial entrepreneur and seed investor, but also for the experience and knowledge he brings from the other side of the table.“