Innovation feature: All aboard Brunel’s incubation platform! (1)

Nick Sturge

At the Bristol SETsquared Centre we built our reputation and evolved our business support model over 10 years in an annexe of the Engineering Faculty, in leafy, affluent Clifton – a great place to work and attractive to new companies wanting to be in the ‘thick’ of the buzzing city economy.

However, our space was sub-optimal – we were split across two buildings creating a divided community and we had no ‘mingling’ space. Despite being along the corridor from Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, the number of academic colleagues who would visit ad-hoc, numbered approximately two.

My view has always been that business incubation is 75% about the people, networks and support and 25% is about the space.

I still think that’s true, but in an increasingly competitive and fast moving environment – both for start-ups and for incubators themselves – we have to ensure that the 25% is as good as it can be.

Tomorrow... Transforming Brunel’s original station, dating back to 1839, at Temple Meads.