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6 Reasons why Manchester is Top 5 Startup City

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by Startacus Admin

6 Reasons why Manchester is Top 5 Startup City...

As you may know July is our Manchester startup month - an entire month when we take a good hard look at this marvellous city and all the people, places and events that make it the great startup place that it is.

To this end, and to kick things off, we've been in touch with Col Skinner, founder of independent digital consultancy Profoundry and all-round self starter! He tells us all about how Manchester has helped him and many other startups succeed and gives us 6 reasons why Manchester can be considered one of Europe’s top 5 startup cities...

"Hey, I’m Col and in February this year, after 6 years of working for other people, I quit my full time agency job and launched my own consultancy Col Skinner Profoundrybusiness in Manchester. Having lived and worked here for over 6 years there was no question it was the right place to begin my new venture. I wanted to share a brief insight into the various elements making Manchester a great city to start a business.


Having worked in the industry for almost 7 years I have seen it expand into one of the top UK hubs for digital media, as the Telegraph recently confirmed. One of the main resources and advocates of this expansion has to be Manchester Digital, the independent trade association for the industry. The huge number of digital agencies, experts and advisors in the city means start-ups have no lack of skills on hand to help them succeed online.


Living in Manchester's trendy/creative Northern Quarter you can't walk 10ft without finding

something that inspires you. It's home to over 30 bars and coffee shops teeming with morning meetings, doodling designers and techies glued to Macbooks. At night the Northern Quarter turns into the location for a variety of free launch events, exhibitions and lectures.


Start-up success is often about who you know not just what you know. I feel Manchester is one of those rare UK cities where you find a tight business community keen to share and collaborate rather than simply compete. You can walk from one side of Manchester centre to the other in half an hour and are sure to bump into a familiar face. Groups like Forever Manchester and Downtown In Business make it easy to network and make new business contacts.


Finding an office is always a tricky task for any startup, weighing up the costs versus location etc. I chose to go for a co-working space to give me a flexible cost-effective office surrounded by talented potential clients and collaborators. There are a range of co-working spaces popping up in Manchester Manchester including The Assembly (where I am), The Sharp Project and OpenSpace to name but a few.


Manchester is a city where anyone can quickly become an expert in something new through the huge range of learning opportunities. Manchester Creative Studios  and Hyper Island both offer a range of courses preparing people for a career in the creative and digital industries. MAD Lab  a 3000 sq. ft. former shop, hosts a wide range of events for geeks, artists and innovators. Lastly Fab Lab gives businesses and entrepreneurs the tools (from 3D printers to laser engravers) to turn their ideas into real products.


Many new businesses require financial support and mentoring during those early years. I have found Manchester has a variety of groups who nurture us start-ups. TechHub Manchester is a co-working space that supports technology startups with events, training and community. Innospace run by Manchester Met University, provides everything from office space to help with HR, accounting and

In summary, Manchester's disruptive spirit combined with its supportive nature makes it the ideal location to start your business and certainly in the Top 5 Startup cities in Europe.

Cheers Col and we look forward to loads of other exciting Manchester themed startup posts throughout July...

Our startup cities series is well underway, we have already featured Belfast, Bristol and Glasgow -why not take a look at what we've been up to so far!

If you like what you see here on Startacus, why not become a member of our growing community? It's free! And you'll get all this - exclusive access to our Business Toolkit, discounts and offers galore for your business via our member only business deals, the chance to network and connect with loads of fellow self-starters, and maybe even become our celebrated 'Self-Starter of the Week' and tell the world your startup tale! Join right here for free... 

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Published on: 6th August 2014

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