Issue date: 22 April 2002

ISSUE DATE: 22nd April 2002

Website whizzes and eMedia entrepreneurs now have a new source of support to help them get their young businesses off the ground. INNOVATE, a scheme announced at the Animated Encounters festival at the Watershed, is opening its doors in the heart of Bristol during May. Designed as an ‘incubator’ to help new digital media businesses get off to a healthy start, INNOVATE is a new facility coordinated by the University of the West of England (UWE) and sponsored by the South West Regional Development Agency.

Fledgling businesses can rent managed office accommodation equipped to an excellent standard, with conference and meeting facilities onsite. In addition, experienced legal, business and creative professionals will be on hand to provide practical support and mentoring. With their advice, the dreams of budding entrepreneurs can be promoted and made reality.

INNOVATE is aimed at start-up businesses with the potential for rapid and sustainable growth. The centre will offer a vibrant and entrepreneurial working environment, with the added bonus of links with the University’s extensive network of contacts

Bristol has a thriving business community, and is already home to a wide range of creative organisations including TV and radio broadcasters, film and video production companies, arts centres, animators, computer games designers and website builders. It also has access to a well-qualified and enterprising creative workforce.

Project leader Nick Markovits from UWE said: “This is a truly exciting development. UWE INNOVATE will enhance opportunities for enterprise in digital media and eCommerce in Bristol and its immediate region. Clients will also benefit from links with UWE.”

South West RDA Head of Operations (West of England), Ian Thompson added: “The South West RDA put close to £500,000 to create this state of the art, high quality business accommodation for the creative media sector in Bristol. The project, which has full support and involvement from the local business community, means that the most talented and entrepreneurial graduates and those already working within their media sector can be retained in the Bristol area to pursue their business ideas in a supportive environment. This project is part of a region wide network of facilities looking to provide a high level of business support to our best young businesses.”

Major supporters include Aardman Animations Ltd, Burges Salmon, Bristol City Council, Arthur Andersen, Trumps Lawrence Tucketts, Business Link West, Hewlett Packard Laboratories and GWR.


Editor’s notes

 Enquiries should be directed to: Nick Markovits, Enterprise Manager, Centre for Research, Innovation and Industry, University of the West of England, Tel: 0117 344 2763, Fax: 0117 344 2688, Email: nick.markovits@uwe.ac.uk

UWE is a sponsor of the Animated Encounters festival, taking place at the Watershed from 25 – 28 April 2002

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