Innovation feature: A platform for change (4)

The 5,000 sq ft business lounge at Engine Shed provides an excellent network and conferencing space. Pic courtesy of Martin Chainey

... With SETsquared as the anchor tenant, we invited in the inward investment service, the LEP and a brand new privately-run Accelerator. The latter is competitive with SETsquared but we work together exceptionally well – helped by the fact that we have built enough momentum with Engine Shed to create the demand for both entities and more.

At the core of our building is a 5,000 sq ft business lounge to which we have sold memberships to the four local universities, the IoD, Bristol Media, the RSA and the local chamber of commerce. We are also now starting to take in corporate memberships – creating a thriving hub of entrepreneurs, academics, business leaders and policy makers.

The result is that each ‘component’ of the building benefits from each other, SETsquared members have a thriving hub to work in or out of, the intelligence sharing between agencies, networks and companies is significantly accelerated and we have become a ‘lightning rod’ for the eco-system. SETsquared is now consistently at capacity, which is of course, a risk.

Engine Shed has become a platform for change – that has raised the profile, occupancy, breadth and depth of support to the SETsquared incubator – and has been a lesson for us in the value of partnership and innovation.