University reveals plans for co-working space as part of £1.5m investment
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Plans to open a co-working hub for start-ups inside the University of Manchester Innovation Centre (UMIC) have been revealed.
The space – currently being renovated as part of a wider £1.5m UMIC investment programme – will house a variety of companies connected to the university’s Innovation Optimiser (IO) initiative as well as budding entrepreneurs beginning their start-up journey.
IO provides support for aspiring entrepreneurs wishing to develop start-up businesses, social ventures and research student enterprises.
So far more than 20 start-ups have graduated through its programme in less than three years.
Head of UMIC, Yvonne Loughlin, said the co-working hub is on track to open in November this year.
She said: “We are extremely excited to be launching a co-working hub here at UMIC.
“We already house a fantastic variety of innovative businesses, both at the Manchester Incubator Building and Core Technology Facility on Grafton Street, as well as at our North Campus Incubator closer to Manchester city centre.
“The co-working hub will once again take our approach to a new level. We’re looking forward to giving a home to some of the many young ambitious enterprises that are passing through what is a fantastic Innovation Optimiser Programme run by Tony Walker.”
She added: “Initially the area will house around 10 people/businesses, but we anticipate growing that number to 18 soon after.
“The great thing about the space is that it will also cater for external entrepreneurs and start-up companies.
“UMIC will also host a competition in due course, the winner of which will win up to 12 months free of charge rent in the hub.”
The announcement to open the co-working hub comes after UMIC, home to biotech and hi-tech companies, increased its tenant engagement activity with the introduction of weekly yoga classes.
Desks inside the co-working hub will be rented out monthly, with four desks being available on a non-reserved basis for use by the hour.
More details are expected to be announced soon.
And later this year the Innovation Centre’s atrium – as part of the £1.5m investment programme – will be redesigned to become a business hub ideal for networking and co-working in modern purpose-built surroundings.