Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

5 Reasons Why Platform is More Than Just Another Office

· Ali Turner · Discussion

Platform is the place for tech businesses to be.

On its mission to create innovation districts, Bruntwood SciTech has reinvented a Leeds landmark and transformed it into a hub for technology businesses. Platform is a focal point for the region's digital talent and a showcase for international investment. Find out more...

Platform has become a vital part of the city’s tech community – and here’s why.

Right above the train station, in the heart of Leeds, you won’t find a better place to do business than Platform. It’s so much more than just an office. They’ve created a unique tech ecosystem that champions start-ups and scale-ups, not just here, but across the wider Bruntwood SciTech network, so you’ll be part of a collaborative digital community.

Your space will flex with your business

Platform Bruntwood

Credit: Ben Blackall

The very purpose of Platform is to help tech businesses grow, so they’ve built the space around the unique needs of start-ups and entrepreneurs. Their tech hub has 45 hot desks and 42 dedicated desks, so you can enjoy all the benefits of an office, no matter what your size. And as your business grows, their flexible contracts will allow you to take more space or move into a serviced office with room for up to 8 people and still give you access to all their shared spaces.

The Platform team works with every business on a one-to-one basis. Take Northcoders for example. They run their famous tech courses from Platform and they’ve doubled their space in the last 2 years. They now have 2,000 square foot split across three rooms, as well as space in the tech hub – and it cost a lot less then they expected to make it happen. “We were happy with the way we were going to expand, but actually, they came up with a better solution that ultimately saved us money, money we would have paid to them, which obviously you don’t expect,” Chris Hill, CEO of Northcoders, explained.

It has its own tech ecosystem

Platform

Credit: Amy Heycock

Community is important at Platform. They’ve created a space where strangers become colleagues and colleagues become friends, so even if you work alone, you’ll have all the camaraderie of a team. It’s not just that everyone’s together under one roof – they run a packed calendar of events to bring people together. From tech meet-ups and talks to yoga, socials and networking opportunities, you can build a tight-knit circle of friends and collaborators.

“Every month they do a really great event called Customer Stories,” Rob Prevett, Founder & CEO of DisruptionHub told us. “They invite two businesses from the building to stand up and give a presentation about what they do, and that’s been really interesting. We go most months because it’s really interesting to understand what other companies within Platform do. You see their name in the directory, but these presentations let you find out about other areas of the business and it opens up a lot of doors to conversations.”

Every desk comes with business support as standard

Bruntwood Platform

Credit: Ben Blackall

The team at Platform is as invested in your success as you are, so from the moment you join, you’ll get access to their business support programme. It’s tailored to you and designed to help you navigate the challenges of scaling up. You’ll get access to finance and funding, introductions to bright new talent and help getting a foothold in new markets. Remember, Bruntwood SciTech has a whole network of innovation districts, so they can connect you with the right partners across the UK and over 600 like-minded startups, scaleups, and global businesses.

“They know the different businesses, their skills and personalities, so they’re uniquely placed to make valuable and relevant introductions. They’re our shortcut to success,” Matt Hitchcock, Managing Director and Co-founder of Other Things, told us. “We started working at Platform after a month of working from the kitchen table, before we’d even officially incorporated our business, and the guys at Platform couldn’t have been more helpful. Advice, introductions, plugging the holes in our unknowns – they saved us many hours of frustrating dead-end Googling.”

It nurtures collaboration among the city’s most innovative companies

Bruntwood Platform

Credit: Jody Hartley

When you fill a building with like-minded, tech-savvy businesses, collaboration is inevitable and it comes in many forms. From bouncing an idea off your neighbours to commissioning work from your peers, Platform brings people together in new and innovative ways. It’s great for business and it can be jolly good fun too – don’t be surprised if Cooperative Innovations come knocking on your door to ask you to test their latest VR games.

“We’re a digital charity, so to be located in a co-working space with other ambitious small businesses is ace. We all bounce off each other and it’s great to connect with other upcoming and like-minded businesses in Leeds,” George Pepper, Co-founder & CEO of Shift.ms, told us. “We’ve found that the open-plan format works really well. It creates an atmosphere for getting to know one another. We’ve made some great connections with other small businesses and we’re looking forward to seeing where this takes us and who we can work with in the future.”

It has the kind of wow factor you never thought you could afford

Platform

Platform is the very pinnacle of quality and it comes with a raft of perks that will help you do business. 24-hour access, on-site showers, free tea and coffee to keep you caffeinated, it’s all designed to make you more productive. From the moment you arrive, you can just plug-in and go with 10-gigabyte broadband. And don’t even get us started on the shared spaces. Their business lounge is free to use and includes a wealth of breakout spaces and private booths. They have meetings rooms and event spaces too, not to mention a rooftop terrace that looks out over the city. It’s guaranteed to impress.

“Last year, we secured just over £500,000 in funding,” Emma Cooper, Business Development and Product Manager at immersive technology studio Cooperative Innovations, explained. “A big part of that is being in a nurturing business environment and being able to meet with potential investors in a beautiful space. That funding has helped to grow the business, it’s helped us continue to fund the R&D work we do and we’ve been able to have bigger and better conversations with new business.”

Cover image credit: Ben Blackall