Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by Royal Bank of Scotland, the world’s largest free business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures, has signed a three-year partnership deal with leading independent Scottish law firm Harper Macleod. Having been a supporter of the business accelerator programme since its creation, over the next three years the firm is set to help around 700 entrepreneurs understand the legalities of setting up, running and scaling their own business.
From left: Paula Skinner, Martin Darroch, Lucy-Rose Walker (CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark), Craig Daniels, Louise Crilly and Jo Nisbet.
Harper Macleod joins Royal Bank of Scotland, KPMG and EMC as partners – referred to as Eagles – of Entrepreneurial Spark in Scotland, and will offer its expert legal advice and support to Chiclets across the organisation’s Scottish Hatcheries.
Commenting on the deal Lucy-Rose Walker, co-founder and Chief Entrepreneuring Officer (CEO) at Entrepreneurial Spark, said: “It’s so important to have access to expert information on the myriad of legal issues our Chiclets may face, whether that’s intellectual property, contract law, investment or regulatory issues. Throughout our relationship with Harper Macleod we have been blown away by their dedication to helping our nation’s entrepreneurs understand these issues, and build the most robust and successful business they can.
“Having recently been named ‘Scotland’s Law Firm of the Year’ for the eighth time, coupled with our knowledge that they truly understand start-up and early stage businesses and investment, I am confident that our Chiclets will receive the best possible legal advice and support over the next three years.”
Already an advocate of the business accelerator programme, Harper Macleod’s team will offer expert legal advice and support to Chiclets across Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by Royal Bank of Scotland’s Hatcheries in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire.
Led by Partner Paula Skinner, dedicated Harper Macleod lawyers known as ‘Legal Eagles’ will provide one-to-one support to entrepreneurs within each Hatchery. The Legal Eagles will take part in fortnightly Partners’ Corner sessions, where Chiclets can drop in for help with particular issues. They will also run weekly legal clinics to cover more in-depth or confidential issues, as well as hosting Masterclass events, providing ongoing, practical legal updates, and opening the doors to their network of contacts.
Martin Darroch, Chief Executive of Harper Macleod, said: “We’re delighted to be joining the other Partners as we move forward together in what will be an exciting time for everyone involved. Harper Macleod and Entrepreneurial Spark share the same values and we've both contributed to building Scotland's impressive entrepreneurial ecosystem over the past few years. It’s great that our relationship continues to develop.
"So much has been achieved to date and I believe that, over the next three years, Entrepreneurial Spark is going to make an even more transformational contribution to the Scottish business community than it has already. "
Gordon Merrylees, Head of Entrepreneurship at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “To have Harper Macleod on board with us is a fantastic boost to the all-round 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 fledgling businesses get their ideas off the ground and build their business dreams into reality.”
The partnership comes at a time when Entrepreneurial Spark Powered by Royal Bank of Scotland is rapidly growing 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, backable and investable.
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.