UKFast opens up tech campus to start-ups
Cloud hosting firm UKFast is creating a 30,000 sq ft incubator space for tech start-ups at its newly expanded campus, with Tech Manchester managing the community.
Facilities at the FastForward working space include meeting areas, TV and recording studios, an auditorium with room for 500 attendees, free parking, telephone and reception services, a yoga studio, slides and a health food café, as well as networking and conference facilities with a bar area.
The region's technology start-ups will benefit from subsidised space with zero business rates, whilst plugging into Tech Manchester’s network of mentors and links with existing incubator and accelerator projects, along with a host of benefits from UKFast.
"With the combination of world-class working environments and support from Tech Manchester and UKFast, it’s an extremely attractive proposition for any UK tech start-up," said Tech Manchester leader Patricia Keating (pictured below).
"I've been excited about this move since the very first day I met Lawrence when he explained his vision for what Tech Manchester can do and what is possible if we all pull together."
UKFast Campus in Birley Fields, Manchester, is currently home to a number of fast-growing businesses, including cloud hosting firm UKFast, cybersecurity firm Secarma and technology magazine BusinessCloud.
Co-founder and CEO Lawrence Jones said: "We started UKFast as entrepreneurs in a spare bedroom in a flat in Oxford Road and then took the plunge to rent a shared office space. That journey up to now gives us an insight into what tech startups need. For starters they won’t be paying business rates. This is something we can subsidise to offer a helping hand."
UKFast Campus is located just off the Princess Parkway in Manchester Science Park, less than a mile from Oxford Road. The campus is set for further significant development before 2020.
Jones (pictured below) added: "We're a fast-paced business, but it's very difficult to predict the exact speed we're going to grow at. In order to ensure we have enough surplus to grow into, we acquired the building next door, even though we don't need all of it yet. It makes perfect sense to offer that out for up and coming entrepreneurs to use.
"The rationale behind Tech Manchester and this startup space is to allow people that might not otherwise be able to afford to work in an environment like this, access to the space at significantly subsidised rates. There are a lot of office spaces being dressed up as tech incubator spaces and being let at exorbitant prices.
"Building a tech community is not just about space. It’s about encouraging the right types of passionate, forward-thinking entrepreneurs to hang out and collaborate.
"We have learned a great deal from the feedback from the thousands of people who have used our auditorium and existing UKFast facilities over the past three years. This extension is certainly very exciting."
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