From networking to business coaching, support is never far away from the city’s start-ups.
The Leeds tech scene thrives on its close-knit community. For tech entrepreneurs, getting advice from people of all backgrounds in many stages of their career is vital – which is why business accelerators and incubators are so important. They do incredible work in the city to help you turn your idea from a dream into a reality.
Spark at The University of Leeds
Spark is a programme for entrepreneurs studying at the University of Leeds. And there seem to be a lot, as according to the uni, a third of students want to start their own businesses. Based in the University of Leeds Career Centre, the Spark team ensures potential entrepreneurs receive the most up to date information and continued support through their journey from the initial ideas to start up, growth and beyond.
NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator
NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator in Leeds, formerly Entrepreneurial Spark, is one of the bank’s 12 hubs across the UK. The programmes are fully funded and open to all industries and sectors, you don’t even have to be a customer to apply. They run two intakes per year and offer six months of support, up to a maximum of 18 months. Support includes access to co-working space, one-to-one mentoring and a regular calendar of workshops and networking events.
Platform is more than just a co-working space. It’s a technology hub where freelancers, start-ups and scale-ups work side-by-side with global leaders. They’ve created a unique tech eco-system here that combines community, collaboration and support into one oh-so-convenient place. The tech hub is designed to facilitate growth, with trusted advice, regular events and those all-important introductions to mentors, investors and city stakeholders.
Accelerate at Leeds Beckett
Leeds Beckett University runs a six-month acceleration programme for businesses based in the Leeds City Region. The programme is aimed at B2B businesses that are already trading and looking to grow. They accept three cohorts a year and chosen businesses receive masterclasses, online learning materials, advice from academics and access to student talent, as well as grants and funding.
Tech Nation helps tech companies to grow and scale by providing networking opportunities and business coaching in hubs around the country. From cybersecurity accelerators to funding competitions for exciting early-stage companies, they run a range of programmes aimed specifically at tech businesses. They’ve just announced the latest batch of Rising Stars, ten of the UK’s most innovative, early-stage tech companies.Cover image credit: Ben Blackall