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Ignite Accelerator names new CEO


Ignite Accelerator, which helps startups launch and scale their businesses recruited a new CEO.

Jo York takes up the role, as Tristan Watson becomes Chairman.

York has been involved with the programme since 2013, initially taking part in its accelerator programme as co-founder of social video startup Reframed.

After her latest startup Ricochet was acquired by Cognism, she became Entrepreneur in Residence at Ignite Northern Ireland, before joining Ignite full-time to deliver its North of Tyne programmes.

“It’s such an honour to be appointed as CEO of Ignite. I’m all too aware of the number of other alumni whose lives have been changed for better by Ignite programmes and I feel the weight of responsibility to continue that momentum very keenly,” she explained.

“It feels very surreal to think it was nearly a decade ago when my co-founder Kev Price and I applied for the programme. I’m excited to be able to bring my experience as founder, mentor and Ignite Alumni to the role.

“Both Tristan and Paul have left an impressive legacy within Ignite and the UK startup ecosystem, which will be very difficult to follow. But I am really excited about steering the next chapter with the rest of the team.”

Ignite first launched in Newcastle in 2011 and has since supported 559 founders, raising a total of £150m, with startup programmes in Belfast, Manchester, London, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Dublin and Cambridge.

“I remember the first Ignite programme launching at our Campus North hub like it was yesterday. Back then, it was called ‘Ignite 100’ because start-ups would benefit from £100k in investment,” added Watson.

“Since then, Ignite has changed a lot. We’ve delivered programmes across the UK and consulted other accelerators across the globe. In 2021, we received the news that we were able to bring Ignite back to the North East, the place where it all began, through a brand-new partnership with the North of Tyne Combined Authority.”

“I’m humbled to have been able to work with so many founders over the years, and I’m really proud to hand over the reins to Jo and to see her continue the Ignite legacy.“


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