EIGHT companies are going through Dorset’s first “accelerator” for digital start-ups.

They were selected from more than 90 applicants to receive £25,000 from Creative England and undergo a three-month process of mentoring and coaching.

Silicon South, the not-for-profit company which promotes the area’s digital sector, is organising the programme. The businesses, from all over the UK, will be based in a new ‘incubation’ space set up by Bournemouth council at Holdenhurst Road.

The companies will take part in a new workshop every week to investigate every aspect of their businesses. In December, there will be a pitch to angel investors for another £50,000 in investment from Creative England.

Nuno Almeida, board director at Silicon South, said: “The Silicon South region is a magnet for entrepreneurs. Our strong, open business economy, in creative industries and verticals such as healthcare, finance and advanced engineering, together with a stunning lifestyle and two world-class universities, make it a great place to be a digital innovator.

“By providing start-ups with the ability to access the right kind of mentoring, funding and expertise we hope to drive the continued growth of successful digital businesses.”

Mehjabeen Patrick, chief operating officer of Creative England, said: “By providing investment that can be combined with advice and business coaching, we’re not only giving these companies a better chance of surviving those critical early years but also helping them to overcome obstacles, create jobs, and make a valuable contribution to England’s vibrant digital economy.”

The companies are: Roxxare, which provides coaching in ‘eSports’, (video games); MSKnote, which aims to improve patient care in musculoskeletal healthcare; City Sail, which matches job candidates with vacancies via a video profile; Hip Buddy, from Poole, a wearable fall detection system; Fairshare Platform, whose software allows firms to engage with shareholders in real time; Hollabox, an app from two Bournemouth University students which shares meaningful local content for users on the move; HiveWire, an instant messaging app for the NHS; and INDUSTRY4.UK, which uses internet of things (IoT) for technicians and managers on the production line.