Barclays announced as fourth partner in Innovation Birmingham’s £8m iCentrum incubator project

Barclays has become the fourth partner to join Innovation Birmingham in delivering a new incubation facility at the Campus’ upcoming £8 million iCentrum building.

Barclays will launch a 2,500 sq ft business incubator which will feature within the Serendip® Smart City Incubator; designed to drive innovation and open up a wealth of opportunities for tech start-ups.

The incubator will work alongside the Innovation Birmingham mentors to create a unique support package for qualifying start-up and high-growth potential early-stage digital and tech companies. The new facility will launch in April 2016 soon after the opening of iCentrum®, located off the A38M Aston Expressway, which opens in March 2016.

Located on the first floor of the 42,149 sq ft iCentrum® building, the business incubator will join three other sector-specific quarters: Digital Heath, Intelligent Mobility and Internet of Things, which will be delivered by West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, Centro and the Transport Systems Catapult and RWE npower.

The whole 10,000 sq ft first floor of iCentrum® will be known as Serendip®, with the ethos behind the space being to harness the power of serendipity and encourage the development of new products and services. That is, both within the defined sectors but also across all sectors; where juxtaposing technology solutions from one sector to another enhances business creation and growth. To complement Serendip®, there will be state-of-the-art event and meet-up space on the ground floor for up to 500 people. The top floor of iCentrum® will house office suites for growing tech companies.

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham, said: “With construction work on iCentrum® quickly nearing completion, we continue to look to delivering this project both on-time and on-budget. It is being developed and funded speculatively as a tech incubator for the generation of entrepreneurs that is growing up with social media, 3D printing and cloud-based business solutions.

“Sitting at the heart of the new building will be Serendip®; a 10,000 sq ft incubation centre purpose-designed to nurture relationships between corporate executives and entrepreneurs. We are delighted to work in partnership with Barclays to deliver this exciting project and their extensive experience will perfectly complement the additional quarters to create greater strength and diversity in supporting early stage businesses.”

“These hubs will be a place for people to create and innovate,” said Ray O’Donoghue, Managing Director of Barclays in the Midlands. “We are very excited to be part of iCentrum®. Our incubator will be a great platform to support fast growing businesses.

“As well as offering facilities such as 3D printers to build and test products, the incubator will target high-growth firms and entrepreneurs who are projecting 20% growth or more, who will benefit from collaborating with other like-minded businesses, as well as receiving mentoring from the bank’s team of industry experts. We want to take our relationship with local entrepreneurs’ one step further, providing them with access to the tools and resources that will help them accelerate growth.”

iCentrum® is being funded through a £7.5m commercial loan, agreed with Birmingham City Council, to cover the main construction and fit-out costs. In addition, Innovation Birmingham secured funding from the GBSLEP’s Enterprise Zone’s Site Development and Access Fund to create additional co-working space in the new building. iCentrum® will provide space for 400 high-value skilled tech jobs at any one time, generating £25 million of GVA to the local economy per annum. The building was one of the first to start on site within the GBSLEP’s Enterprise Zone, which features 30 sites within central Birmingham.

The Innovation Birmingham Campus is currently fully let with an extensive waiting list for space from new and growing tech businesses. Significant investment has ensured its 135 technology tenants can already access 30Gbit/s broadband speeds – equalling the fastest internet connection available anywhere in the UK. iCentrum® is the first building under construction within Innovation Birmingham’s £40m development zone.

For more information on the Serendip incubator or to apply, visit: https://www.innovationbham.com/start-up-support/serendip-incubator/

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