Tech Hub Branching Out
As reported by the Financial Times on 12 September, technology start-up support provider Tech Hub will soon expand its UK presence beyond London, with a new hub being set up in Manchester. Until now, the company’s only operation outside the capital has been in Riga, Latvia. Tech Hub provides a shared workspace for tech start-ups as well as organising educational and networking events and prides itself on being instrumental in developing the strong community of new and fresh tech companies in the capital.
Such companies are more often than not very small in scale and often can’t afford to rent an actual office and set up a proper working environment. Even so, many innovative concepts and ideas are developed via skype and similar communication channels, or face-to-face in basements, garages, etc. Some of these ideas see the light of day and become successful products, but many more struggle because of the lack of communication and organisation and eventually end up being abandoned. Open work spaces, such as those provided by Tech Hub, provide an elegant solution to the problem, allowing small start-ups more easily to explore and develop their ideas. In addition, the fact that these spaces are typically shared by developers from different teams simultaneously nourishes an all-important creative environment.
!m(/uploads/story/444/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)It can be supposed that Tech Hub’s decision to move beyond London will have a positive impact on the UK’s wider tech industry, facilitating more tech-inspired people to have a better chance of realising their visions.
For the Manchester project, Tech Hub is partnering with property developer Town Center Securities. The plan is to open a work space with 50 permanent desks in a Grade II-listed building in Manchester’s Piccadilly Basin.
Elizabeth Varley, Tech-Hub’s CEO and co-founder, explained that the choice of Manchester was consistent with the company’s policy of bringing together existing communities. According to Varley, Manchester already hosts an emerging tech community and the company aims to accommodate those people by hooking them up with one another. Varley also believes that the Manchester operation won’t dilute the organisation’s efforts in the capital.
But Tech Hub doesn’t intend to stop there. Another four locations are expected to be announced before Christmas. And the brand has already gone international, starting a project in Riga, Latvia. So, it seems that Tech-Hub is bent on expansion but regardless of whether the company’s next project will be on an international or domestic level, the aim is seemingly to be at one with the local environment. Each branch of Tech Hub is to be run by a local entrepreneur well informed about the start-up community in the particular area. The idea is that this will ease the process of bringing the right people together and finding the right approach for every individual case. Whilst this approach suggests a franchising model, CEO Varley is reluctant to use a term that’s been widely associated with the fast food industry. For the tech start-up scene she has a much cooler term. It’s simply a case of “going viral”.
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