Science and tech hub base benefits tenants
Published on: 17 February 2016
The Exeter Science Park Centre’s first tenants have bedded in and began reaping the rewards of being based at the hub for science and technology.
Companies, from start-ups to established organisations looking for some grow on space, have found their new base on the edge of Exeter to be brimming with opportunities for new collaborations with like-minded organisations, accelerated growth and chances to be at the forefront of science, technology and innovation.
Venture technology firm, Koncept, founded by 25 year-old Jonathan Melhuish-Sprague and Tycho Luyben have seen their portfolio increase by more than 50 per cent helped by the support and collaboration opportunities available at the centre.
The business supports disruptive, fast-growth technology start-ups by investing significant time and resources, helping create a minimum viable product (MVP) that is ready for industry testing. Koncept then helps to put the product in front of suitable investors and develop a market plan and digital strategy in preparation for the product launch.
‘Disruptive’ innovation is driving a number of significant market changes and Koncept is working with start-ups that are developing and adapting technologies that will disrupt a variety of existing markets, including video streaming and sector specific recruitment.
Dan Jones and David Glassborow, founders of business focused IT company Concept First, already had extensive experience in science and technology sector when they decided to relocate to the Science Park Centre.
Their aim was to expand their business, which works across a diverse range of sectors and specialises in bespoke IT software and big data analysis, and collaborate with like-minded organisations.
David Glassborow, joint Managing Director, said: “One of our main reasons for moving to Exeter Science Park was the ability to grow.”
Dan Jones, joint Managing Director added: “The other key benefit of being somewhere like the Science Park is working alongside like-minded companies who are doing similar things. We are very interested in collaboration opportunities.
“I am also hoping that by being based at the Science Park Centre we will have the space and the contacts to get the skilled employees we need to expand the business. Hopefully we can recruit from the local talent pool; we would be really keen to take on local University graduates – being based here places us in a better position for attracting talented scientists and technicians.”
While geo-tagging video technology firm RouteShoot has moved into the Exeter Science Park Centre following several years’ incubation in the Innovation Centre at the University of Exeter in search of collaboration and expansion opportunities.
RouteShoot specialises in the production of geo-referenced video and route tracking for public and private sector organisations as well as a wide range of consumers. Gary Wilson, founded RouteShoot to meet the growing need for on-demand video evidence and data gathering.
Gary said: “The Exeter Science Park Centre is exactly the sort of premises we were looking for. Having grown significantly over the past few years, it was a logical move for us and we are really thrilled with our new base as well as the support we have received from the team here.
“We’re surrounded by like-minded people from a range of different backgrounds so it’s already opened up a lot of opportunities for us. We’re already talking to one company in the centre that we might be able to work with.”
He added: “Simply being based here adds to our credibility as a company. Clients that come to visit us recognise that this is a hub for excellence and innovation. Best of all is the access to and from the Centre. We spend a lot of our time visiting clients across the UK, and the location here next to the M5 and the airport is unbeatable. It is a professional yet laid back atmosphere, and the extra facilities have already proved useful, including the meeting rooms and hot desk facilities which will allow us to grow at a steady rate.”
The building of the Science Park Centre has been made possible with shareholder equity from Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council, the University of Exeter; the Heart of the South West LEP which committed a £4.5million loan from the Growing Places Fund; and a £1million grant from the Regional Growth Fund.