Leeds-based blind dating app JigTalk has been accepted into a prestigious San Francisco accelerator backed by NASDAQ.

CEO and co-founder Alex Durrant will join the cohort of 12 entrepreneurs for the 12-week Fall 2017 series of ‘Milestone Makers’.

Described as a gamified alternative to Tinder, JigTalk covers users’ profile pictures with 16 jigsaw pieces which are removed one by one as messages are exchanged between the potential couple.

Available for free on iOS and Android, the platform encourages people to move away from the superficial hotspots of current dating apps, and instead positions personality first and foremost.

It was recently  featured on our '101 Rising Stars of Tech' list.

“I am very excited to represent the UK within the home of tech,” said Durrant. “Building JigTalk has been a challenging experience, but witnessing the response makes it all worth it.

“I’m looking to continuously build connections with the other entrepreneurs and mentors in San Francisco and raise the profile of UK tech outside of London.”

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Jigtalk

JigTalk is the first British business to make it on to the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Centre’s non-profit start-up programme.

More than 100 applicants applied for the Fall 2017 series, the third programme to date, with only one in 10 successful.

The entrepreneurs receive free business mentoring from industry leaders, personal coaching, training and resources, valued at approximately $250,000.

Durrant, 23, developed the app with friend-turned-business partner Max Adamski, also 23. They took investment from NY- and London-based angels before releasing the first version of JigTalk in February.

The app now has more than 10,000 users and a second version of the app, incorporating user feedback, is now on the horizon.

BELOW: Flick through the Q2 2017 edition of BusinessCloud's interactive digital magazine

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