A new Digital Enterprise Hub is being launched in Oldham as part of a strategy to make the town the ‘Shoreditch of the North’.
The site is being backed by Wayra UK and Oldham Council. The council already owns the site and is currently seeking approval to inject a further £200,000 for set up and running costs going forward.
Warya UK is part of the Telefonica Open Future network and provides direct funding and acceleration services to UK start-ups. Its portfolio comprises of more than 400 operating companies grouped in more than 20 digital industries.
In the proposed arrangement in Oldham SME owners will be offered access to a multi-functional workspace geared up to host entrepreneurs from a range of digital industries.
Ways Open Future director Gary Stewart said that Oldham and the Greater Manchester area “has the scale, influence and talent required to incubate a large start-up ecosystem”.
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“By joining the Telefónica Open Future_ family, startups in Oldham will be able to take advantage of ready-made networks and the Telefónica Open Future_ model, which supports startups at different stages of growth, from small funding for students, to large venture capital deals,” he continued. “Our ultimate goal is to create a Shoreditch of the North.”
Oldham Council deputy leader Jean Stretton added that the proposals could bring business to the area and also help to support the local community.
“These are exciting plans that could create a fantastic focal point in Oldham where SMEs’ microbusinesses and people with great concepts can all innovate, grow and collaborate together,” she said.
“Alongside packages of flexible workspace, mentoring and business support, Wayra UK also invests seed funding into start-up businesses that can show they have the vision and people needed to turn bright ideas into something that can become a big success.”
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