30 November, 2007 – Hi-Tech companies put expansion plans into action with help from UMIC
Hi-tech companies based within The University of Manchester Incubator Company (UMIC) facilities have extra reason to celebrate this Christmas.
Two companies are leasing further space due to expansion, one company is launching a new software product across the UK, and a new ‘spin-in’ venture has chosen UMIC to help grow its businesses.
Greenlight Computers Ltd has taken larger offices at the north campus incubator based close to the heart of the city centre. Greenlight offers rapid and personalised technical support solutions for IT users – for individuals, families, or businesses using any PC’s, systems or laptops. Proximity to city centre customers was a key factor in the move.
Gary Dodson managing director of Greenlight explains: “We set up Greenlight to provide local services for local users. Our technicians live in the same areas as our customers. In time, our guys might hold free IT support advice sessions in local pubs, so that no one has to put up with remote, expensive and unhelpful service.”
Greenlight will launch a drop-in laptop repair centre at their campus offices. Gary was also listed in November 07′s Courvoisier Future 500 – the awards give ‘green light’ indications of future business leaders.
Winning Pitch, based at One Central Park, has expanded its base in the Park to meet the demands of rapid growth, which has seen it progress from start-up to plc status in just 18 months.
Winning Pitch is a dynamic and innovative young business, seeking to deliver practical, high impact solutions to individuals and companies, to enable them to create sustainable growth in sales and business development performance.
These services are delivered through high level coaching and master classes, based on methods used by successful entrepreneurs, as well as the company’s own range of management tools. The company will be listed on the PLUS market by Christmas.
“Being based at One Central Park has enabled us to catapult the business to the next stage of development,” enthuses John Leach, CEO.
“The supportive environment is a fantastic place for aspiring entrepreneurs to innovate and learn, developing their skills, and enabling them access to other start-up companies and entrepreneurs on the Park.
“We found this an integral element to our own rapid growth. Significantly expanding our office space is a real indicator of just how far we have come in the last 18 months – but we’ve only just begun, watch out, Winning Pitch is about to take off – you can’t do business sitting on your arse!”
Inventya, another company based at One Central Park, officially launched a UK-wide sales campaign for its Rapid Idea Evaluation software – a web-based tool to help with early assessment of new business ideas.
Testing the feasibility of business ideas is just as important as developing business plans. Significant interest in the evaluation tool has already led to new clients including Sheffield Hallam University and startups.co.uk
An innovation consultancy firm, Inventya has tried-and-tested experience with innovation, entrepreneurship and investment. The company finds continued success in providing market research services, with new clients University of Wales and Anglia Ruskin University.
David Thomas, co-founder of Inventya, said: “The majority of new businesses fail because the planning is flawed, not necessarily the idea. As TV shows such as Dragons’ Den highlight, if you don’t have the numbers and key information to support your concept, your concept is quickly dismissed by the investor.”
David plans to announce early in 2008 some exciting partnerships with major blue chip companies for the sale and promotion of Inventya’s flagship software product i2m aimed at anyone considering starting up a new venture.
E-Financial Management provides outsourced financial management services for small and medium sized businesses across the UK and chose to locate its new northwest office at One Central Park.
Businesses can tap into E-Financial’s expertise which ranges from book-keepers to Finance Directors on a cost-effective pay-as-you-go, monthly or quarterly basis.
Maurice Scott northwest regional director of E-Financial Management adds: “I am really looking forward to the challenge of helping e-FM become established in the local marketplace.
“E-FM’s business model of outsourcing financial management will enable many smaller organisations in the region to take advantage of the benefits of sound financial management”. E-Financial Management was awarded the Rising Stars’ Small – Medium Sized Business of the Year 2007.
As Tony Walker, UMIC’s hi-tech incubator manager, points out: “In the last two years UMIC has extended its role from helping just university-based businesses to being a small but important part of the wealth generating engine of the city region.
“The sample of high growth companies here is part of a much larger and increasing portfolio. The calibre of who we support is important. Our entrepreneurs are highly motivated individuals. We help them with structure and support to increase the speed of what would happen anyway – a successful growth business.
“That is the essence of incubation and as in brewing the cream naturally rises to the top. In UMIC’s case to be the pride of Manchester”.
Source: UMIC Press release