Greater Manchester has been selected as a UK host city for OpenCo 2014. OpenCo, the ‘festival of innovation’, has revealed an exciting line up of UK companies taking part in the first nationwide OpenCo event which will be held simultaneously across multiple cities including Manchester. Building on the success of last year’s inaugural London event, this autumn’s showcase will see some of the UK’s most exciting businesses open their doors to the public, as the event expands to the whole of the UK.
Offering a unique opportunity to see and hear from some of the country’s most dynamic and innovative start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses, OpenCo is a ‘must’ for anyone interested in what really happens behind the curtains of the UK’s most creative companies.
Eight innovative Manchester companies, three digital hubs and Manchester’s newest digital accelerator, Up Accelerator, have joined the OpenCo line-up on October 2nd, whilst simultaneous events in London, Sheffield, Birmingham, Bristol, Bath and Liverpool will take the total number of host companies (“HostCo’s”) across the UK to over 100.
Manchester’s OpenCo event – co-ordinated by MIDAS, Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency – will emphasise the city’s rapidly growing digital eco-system and clusters, with Bright Future Software, EON Reality, and UKFast amongst the companies taking part. Each will be welcoming visitors into their workspace to hear their secrets of success and learn more about their story, during a free 45 minute session.
The festival is described by founders as a mashup of an open studio tour and a tech conference, with the vibe of a music festival. The free, one day event is broken down into short sessions, where the leaders of HostCo’s share the stories behind their business, their vision as well as any new projects or developments they are working on.
OpenCo (known as NewCo outside the UK) which also takes place in New York, Detroit, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Boulder, Los Angeles, and Amsterdam, has attracted over 10,000 attendees over the past two years, and has had the participation of many of the world’s most inspiring and forward-thinking business leaders.
Tim Newns, chief executive of MIDAS added: “OpenCo Manchester will present a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors and future influencers to see the inner workings of some of our most innovative digital companies.
“Over the course of one day attendees will be privy to invaluable insights into a city with an unsurpassed track record for invention and innovation and a culture which is inherently collaborative. We look forward to welcoming attendees and showcasing why Manchester is home to one of Europe’s largest and fastest growing digital hubs.”
OpenCo UK Co-Founder & IPG Mediabrands Global Strategy Officer Hamish Kinniburgh says: “From new start-ups or a well-established global firms, OpenCo offers the opportunity to experience innovation up close and personal in its native habitat, giving people the opportunity to hear from some of the most talented business minds out there and see some of the city’s most dynamic work environments.”
Tech City UK CEO, Gerard Grech commented, “We’re delighted to be partnering with OpenCo to make the UK the first country to host the event simultaneously in multiple cities. This event is very much in line with our mission of accelerating the growth of digital businesses, sharing best practices, spreading opportunities and connecting groups engaged in digital innovation across the UK.”