Entrepreneurial spirit thrives at Southampton Science Park
Thu 6th November 2014
As part of its ongoing commitment to supporting early-stage businesses in the region, Southampton Science Park has created a new zone in the Innovation Centre. The newly named ‘Incubation Centre’ is exclusively available to science and technology-led businesses looking for flexible work space within a vibrant entrepreneurial community. It provides everything an early-stage business with one to two staff needs with options including free meeting rooms, access to hot desks, free wifi and communal seating. The Incubation Centre is also home to SETsquared Southampton which brings with it a number of innovative high-tech businesses. The SETsquared Partnership was recently named number one university incubator in Europe and number two in the world by the University Business Incubator Index due to its outstanding record of accelerating science and technology businesses.
Autumn also sees the latest Catalyst winners move into their offices on the Park. Three years after Ricky Martin (the 2012 winner of the BBC’s ‘The Apprentice’) came to launch the Catalyst Centre, four more exciting start-ups have been selected by the expert judging panel to join the highly successful programme. These fledgling businesses will be put through their paces over the next six months, getting to know the complicated world of intellectual property, discovering the best way to hire new staff, getting their business plans up to scratch and working on their growth strategies.
As always, there’s wide diversity and significant technical prowess amongst the Catalyst Centre businesses this year: Neo Media Signage has established a powerful, affordable and simple-to-use digital signage system; Fusetab has created intelligent software that will combine business and personal lives easily in one place; Safe ‘n’ Sound is working to reduce child road death statistics by developing a mobile app, and The Bug Shack hopes to ease strain on the world’s resources by taking alternative protein sources to market.
Peter Birkett, CEO of Southampton Science Park, said of the initiatives: “Enhancing support for our science, technology and business community on the Park and creating a hub for entrepreneurship is an ongoing priority for us. The Incubation Centre is a way to provide a flexible environment for early-stage businesses that are in between working from home and needing professional office space for growth, whilst the Catalyst Centre supports start-ups that are at an even earlier stage.”
Chris Frost, Founder of Fusetab, commented, “Not having to move to London in order to be involved in a brilliant programme like the Catalyst Centre is a huge advantage for me. I’m looking forward to being surrounded by other founders and mentors to bounce my ideas off and share thoughts with.”