The 85th innovative tech start-up has enrolled at the Entrepreneurs for the Future centre, based at Birmingham Science Park’s Innovation Birmingham Campus. The business incubation programme has been running for four years, and to date the start-ups have secured over £2.5 million of investment during initial funding rounds.
Entrepreneurs for the Future is Innovation Birmingham’s flagship tech business incubation initiative, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The start-ups that the programme has incubated have created 150 new employee and director positions since November 2009.
The 85th tech start-up is Chartego; a social platform, allowing users to build online recognition and influence by posting interesting content, such as photos, videos and textual updates. Chartego users are given positions on the strength of their posted content and the amount of ‘charts’ received.
Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham said: “It is very positive news for Birmingham that 85 tech start-ups have been born in our specialist Entrepreneurs for the Future incubation centre over a four year period. Some of those start-ups have fallen by the wayside, whereas others – such as Soshi Games and Droplet – quickly graduated into a much larger office in Faraday Wharf, in order to accommodate their growing teams. Entrepreneurs for the Future is now creating at least 25 new tech start-ups per year, strengthening Birmingham’s knowledge community with businesses with real growth potential.
“As a specialist incubator, the support we can offer tech start-ups in those early months can make all the difference between a young business succeeding or failing. We offer a personal programme of mentoring and access to finance, together with free office space, telecoms, meeting rooms and superfast broadband for the first six months. In addition, the start-ups can attend all of our networking events for free and the very nature of being based here creates significant opportunities to make new contacts and collaborate on projects.”
Two other start-ups to be enrolled onto the Entrepreneurs for the Future programme are DigiVooDoo and Scoperks. DigiVooDoo is developing a series of cross-platform online games for a wide range of audiences with the aim of developing characters, worlds and stories, which will become valuable intellectual properties. Scoperks is working with retailers and brands to inform its user base on the best available perks.
Innovation Birmingham has designed the tech incubation programme in order to capture serial entrepreneurs – such as the team behind Droplet – who as individuals are working on more than one project concurrently. The Innovation Birmingham Campus is open 24/7, enabling people to work flexibly, or cram in the hours when needed.