A GLASGOW start-up has signalled it hopes to raise up to $2 million (£1.51m) in funding after becoming the first in Scotland to join the world’s leading tech accelerator programme in New York.

The four founders of MindMate, which develops apps to help dementia sufferers and their families, have embarked on a three-month stint on the Techstars programme across the Atlantic.

More than 90 per cent of companies admitted to the Techstars programme have received more than $2m in follow-on funding.

As well as access to funding and mentors, the move will give the company, whose clients include NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, access to the US market – the biggest for dementia care in the world.

Its arrival at Techstars underlines the international standing of the Scottish tech scene, following the rapid growth of companies such as FanDuel and Skyscanner and the sale of Two Big Ears to Facebook.

Susanne Mitschke, Patrick Renner, Rogelio Arellano and Gabriela Matic, who established MindMate after meeting while studying in Glasgow, arrived in New York three days ago.

Speaking from New York yesterday, Ms Matic said the MindMate founders are hoping to raise between $1.5m and $2m while on the programme, which they would intend to use to take on sales and code staff.

The company’s apps are currently used by care homes run by the NHS and Newark in the Glasgow area.

Ms Matic said: “We do want to raise more funding because of various reasons. But Techstars is crucial not only for the network. The mentors are amazing.

“We do have private people downloading MindMate, which is B2C (business to consumer). But the B2B (business to business) side of it, of approaching care homes and insurance companies is a tough one if you don’t know anyone.

“We are not from the US, so tapping into networks and getting introductions saves us a lot of time.

“If we had to do it on our own, not only would it be kind of impossible, it would also take a lot of time.”

While the company is targeting English-speaking markets generally, it is initially focusing on the US because of the size of the market.

But Ms Matic said it has no plans as yet to set up a base there, noting that it is possible to grow in the US from its native Glasgow.

“In total at least 10 care homes are working with the app at least every day, and more are trialling it and are in talks with us about using it.”

MindMate was founded in March 2015 and now has more than 20,000 monthly active users.

With partnerships with every dementia society in the UK, it has developed three versions of its app, meaning it can be used by patients, family members and carers.

The apps include brain training games, reminder tools, advice on nutrition and exercise, and music. They also come with patient information and a reminiscence called “My Story”.

Its most recent product, MindMate Family, connects dementia sufferers with their families and friends.

At present the app is only available on Apple devices, but an Android version is scheduled to take place in the next two weeks.

Techstars’ managing director Alex Iskold said: “Dementia is the number three cause of death in US. It is a cruel affliction and takes a massive toll on the victims and their families.

“MindMate is a team full of compassion and empathy, working to make dementia more manageable for patients, families and care centres.

“Techstars is proud to back this team and help create a comprehensive platform for fighting dementia in the US and around the world.”

Ms Mitschke, the company’s chief executive, said: “Our latest technology is tackling the inherent loneliness of dementia sufferers who are often isolated or remote from family members.

“As a team, we are super excited to be joining the Techstars team in New York – not only for the programme itself but for the opportunity it gives us to further develop our products, build our networks and make connections in the largest healthcare market in the world.”