Innovation Birmingham Campus building, iCentrum, is nearing completion and is set to open at the end of March. Designed to promote innovation by supporting start-ups and micro-businesses in the Serendip Smart Cities Incubator, the building will also act as a meeting point for Birmingham’s digital communities.
Serendip is market-led and Innovation Birmingham will work with its corporate partners to issue regular technology challenges; based on the market needs of its partners, their supply chain and customers. In rising to the challenges by offering digital solutions, the foundations for new businesses will be created; particularly those where their market is already clearly defined and ready for exploitation. The first challenges are live: https://www.innovationbham.com/start-up-support/serendip-incubator.
New businesses formed through Serendip will complement those already supported through our Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) Centre and will add to Birmingham’s bourgeoning start-up and early stage scene. However, we need a sustained, strategic marketing programme – including full engagement from large and mid-sized digital/tech businesses – if Birmingham is going to compete with other cities in its claim to being a true ‘knowledge economy’.
To address this, the second function of iCentrum will be to provide a beacon for the digital economy; by becoming a meeting place for digital leaders across all sectors – public and private – and across the full corporate scale, from start-up entrepreneurs to CEOs of multinationals, to come together and catalyse new innovative thinking.
As we launch the building in April, I hope we can convince all these people to visit regularly as we continue to promote a borderless approach to innovation. With a wide range of events to stimulate debate and with a remixing of the ‘possibles’, we will capitalise on the 30 Gbit/s broadband connectivity to ‘bring’ global voices to the discussion as we generate new opportunities for and within the city. So this is a call to all digital users – come and join us!