Manchester's Tech Incubator takes off

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SEVEN startups and more than 40 tech workers have joined Manchester Science Partnerships’ (MSP) tech incubator, less than a month after it was officially opened by Metro Mayor Andy Burnham, who hailed it as key to Manchester cementing its place as a go-to location for the tech industry.

The startups joining the community range from tootoot, an award-winning digital platform aimed at tackling bullying and safeguarding incidents in schools, colleges and universities; to CG Hero, a portal enabling SMEs to access awe-inspiring CGIs - usually the preserve of Hollywood studios.

Also choosing the incubator for its first Manchester city centre base is The Blair Project: an alternative education provider harnessing motorsport to engage young people, and provide the latest in-demand STEM and digital skills training.

The other four new businesses who will join the incubator alongside Manchester Digital, the independent sector trade body and Complete Resourcing, the city’s ‘go to’ recruitment consultancy for start-ups are: FutureEverything creators of the award-winning digital arts festival, hailed by the Guardian as a top-10 thought leadership event who have moved from their base at neighbouring Manchester Science Park; Rezaid an ‘offshoring’ software service connecting businesses in the UK to software designers and engineers in Asia; Space Sweets, a software and technology consultancy for the property industry; and tech-focused wellness experts, Robertson Cooper.

Interest in the incubator, located at Manchester Technology Centre - part of Circle Square - has rocketed following the high-profile launch event, demonstrating MSP’s commitment to supporting the creation of 2,000 jobs in data science and innovation over the next decade is well underway.

Companies joining the tech incubator benefit from unrivalled access to a programme of tailored business support delivered by partners including Manchester Digital, Complete Resourcing, Grant Thornton and KPMG. The business support programme has been especially designed to help businesses grow and includes access to finance, talent and markets as well as mentorship and advice.

Tom Renn, managing director of Manchester Science Partnerships, said: “We are delighted to welcome so many new and exciting businesses to the tech incubator. It’s clear that digital innovation is thriving in our city and supporting new and early stage businesses is something we are incredibly passionate about. These businesses are at the sharp end of data science and innovation and have a vital role to play in helping Manchester become one of the top 20 digital cities in Europe.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: "Manchester is the largest tech cluster in the country outside London and one of the top five in Europe and a city which lives and breathes innovation. We see tech as a hugely important growth industry, building on our existing strengths, and MSP’s tech incubator has a crucial role to play in this."