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.