New hub for Bristol entrepreneurs opens its doors
Bristol’s new accelerator programme for entrepreneurs has officially launched.
Entrepreneurial Spark powered by NatWest, the world’s largest free entrepreneurial accelerator, has opened its newest hub – or ‘hatchery’ – in the NatWest building at Trinity Quay.
Eighty businesses beat off stiff competition to secure a place in the first intake of entrepreneurs, or ‘chiclets’, to take part in the programme, which is aimed at early stage and growing ventures.
They will be based at the Trinity Quay hub for up to six months, with potential to continue for another 12 if they are among the most promising.
Access to the Bristol hatchery includes physical office space with superfast internet, a start-up Bootcamp, dedicated mentoring, regular events, workshops and training, all free of charge. A new intake of chiclets will start at the hatchery every six months.
The Bristol hatchery is part of a network being created across the UK by Entrepreneurial Spark in conjunction with NatWest and KPMG.
These will support 7,000 entrepreneurs over the next five years.
Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial and Private Banking at NatWest, officially opened the Bristol hub.
Five of the entrepreneurs currently based at the hub took part in a pitching competition during the official launch, which was judged by Alison Rose, NatWest CEO Ross McEwan, NatWest CEO of Personal and Business Banking Les Matheson, Bristol mayor George Ferguson and Head of National Markets at KPMG Iain Moffat.
Samantha Mant, managing director of Halcyan Water Conditioners, won the contest and was presented with a £1,000 prize.
Jim Duffy, CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark, comments: “We’re delighted to have launched in Bristol and announced our plans for the next round of UK hatcheries, which includes Cardiff.
“There is real entrepreneurial talent coming forward across the UK, no more so than in Bristol and the South West where we’ve had a record level of applications to join the hatchery.
“We look forward to being part of the start-up community, helping entrepreneurs to develop winning mindsets and behaviours in order to scale up their businesses.”