Colchester’s Innovation Centre is filling fast – Neil Griffin, Innovation Director, Oxford Innovation shares why
The Innovation Centre on the Knowledge Gateway at the University of Essex opened back in April. We caught up with the Centre’s Director to find out how things are going in the tech world he’s creating there.
Having been open just over 5 months we are excited to have 16 Technology businesses within the Innovation Centre already, ranging from Insuratech, Digital performance marketing, Cybersecurity and Software providers to name just a handful.
In just these few short months we have already seen 4 companies scale up into bigger offices as they are seeing the benefit of scale up support due to the location, collaboration with others in centre, access to the University through such things as Interns as well as the business support that the Oxford Innovations team is providing.
We have held 27 events since June ranging from regular Meet ups, Tech + Toast (Tech East) The Informed Entrepreneur (Relocon) and The Essex Cloud (Innovative Creations) to Innovate UK loans briefings, Tapping into the University talent pool, Google Digital Garage and computer games launches.
Part of my role is to arrange business masterclasses which are wrapped up in the services we provide, these tend to be more specialist to have real impact in a business. These have included Investment readiness and Brand workshops, Generating sales through social media plus sessions such as Mindspan.
We have had the pleasure of engaging with over 1000 attendees over the course of all our events and the feedback has been excellent with businesses gaining knowledge plus taking away things that can have a positive impact on their business. We have even more interesting sessions planned in for 2020 so keep an eye on the website.
My main role is to help scale these businesses and be that sounding board for advice in all aspects of business development to make an impact, strive for results but above all grow the businesses sustainably. By being part of the wider Colchester business ecosystem we want innovators to engage with us and keep talent within Essex, as I believe we can make a difference.
In my view why spend your time trekking to London or sitting in a coffee shop locally when you can come and engage with us in an amazing building like this, there is such a good feel and buzz about the place.