8 UK Incubators

The UK is an international hub for cutting-edge enterprise, presenting a network of incubators and science parks where technology businesses can find support for their research, development and commercialisation.

Incubators offer many advantages to develop and strengthen businesses including facilities, equipment and access to experienced advisers. Incubators frequently benefit from proximity to universities and research centers and are a credible s
ource of innovation and entrepreneurship in science and technology. Amoo prepared a list of them.

St John’s Innovation Centre was created in 1988. It provides early stage companies with business advice, strategic consultancy, introductions and flexible accommodation. It was the first innovation center of its kind in Europe and has become world-renowned for its success as a business incubator. It is located at the heart of the Greater Cambridge technology cluster. This incubator is specialized in science and technology related businesses. The incubator closely works with the University of Cambridge and is a member of the EU-funded Achieve More partnership bringing together 9 partners spread throughout 5 countries.
Imperial Innovations was created in 2006. Based on the campus of Imperial College London, it offers the opportunity for new businesses to benefit from eminent scientists and experts in science and technology. Incubated businesses are provided offices, laboratory spaces, technologies for license and can work closely with high quality researchers. Imperial Innovations has managed to assert itself as a major hub for innovation and entrepreneurship and has participated in the development of more than 70 companies.

Innovation Centres Ltd is a successful incubator based in Scotland. Focusing on innovative and high-growth technology companies, the incubator supports entrepreneurs and businesses providing intensive advisory by highly experienced mentors, networking and creative development. It is based near Glasgow airport and was awarded the UK Most Established Business Incubator of the Year Award in 2006. Hillington Park Innovation Centre is also one of the fastest growing technology incubators in Europe. Over 100 technology-based companies have been incubated there.
Springboard, founded in July 2009, was inspired by successful American incubator models. It is an incubator defining itself as a mentorship-led accelerator program for start-ups. Based in Cambridge, Springboard helps technology companies through a program of 13 weeks that takes place at Cambridge University. It provides £6000 in exchange of 6% of the business and an intensive mentoring to develop the business. The mentoring team consists of over 50 experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Jon Bradford, founder of The Difference Engine, is in charge of this new format inspired by two successful US incubators namely Techstars and Y Combinator.

Founded in November 2009, The Difference Engine is a mentor led accelerator program aimed at digital businesses. It provides seed funding as well as intensive support. "Anyone from anywhere" can apply for the program which is located in the North East of England. The Difference Engine offers a full time 13 week business development program that combines investment capital of £20,000 with mentoring, support and office accommodation. Jon Bradford is the managing director and implements this through a team of experienced entrepreneurs and investors. He was also the Investment Manager at the Design and Creative Fund for North East Finance.

Elizabeth Varley (CEO) and Mike Butcher founded TechHub in September 2009 to create a community of entrepreneurs, investors, start-ups, bloggers and journalists. Techhub is positioned as a hub aimed at the European technology community. The community benefits from a co-working space with opportunities to network. TechHub is based in Old street which is a technology cluster located within the recently announced East London Tech City initiative. TechHub is also supported by Google and Pearson.

Based in London and only running since the end of September 2010, The Innovation Warehouse defines itself as a meeting place gathering investors and experienced business leaders for entrepreneurial initiatives. The incubator offers a place where entrepreneurs with high growth potential can meet, share and collaborate with investment experts. Desks, meeting rooms and event spaces are provided. A consortium of Venture Capital Funds, Academic Commercialisation Departments, Angel Investors and Corporate Professional Services support this incubator.

White Bear Yard is an incubator focusing on early stage digital technology companies and media companies. Stefan Glaenzer, last FM’s investor and chairman, Eilen Burbidge, early Skype employee and Robert Dighero, founded the hub in July 2009. Based in London, the company provides a large workspace. This space offers to ambitious companies the opportunity to benefit from successful experienced entrepreneurs and operators. Providing capital, skills and a strong European network to assist founders, this Hub was designed to be as inspirational as possible. Home to several start ups as Smarkets (gambling), RjDj (Reactive music), companies benefit from other start-ups to clear hurdles together.

Kim Maimoun


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