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Collaboration is Key to small Business Growth
by Startacus Admin
We asked Entrepreneurial-Spark, a hybrid of a business incubator & business accelerator space based in Scotland to reflect on their 1st year anniversary and what a few of their startups have learned and gained from the space...
At Entrepreneurial-Spark, we marked a year since our first initial cohort of entrepreneurs entered the Glasgow Hatchery and it put us in a reflective mood. What can we say has been achieved? What is the impact on our growing start-up community?
A start-up in our own right, at Entrepreneurial-Spark we wanted to share the key learning’s we’ve seen from a year working with over 100 start-ups in our business incu/accelerator or ‘Hatcheries’, now based across Glasgow, Ayrshire and Edinburgh.
The offering is simple, free office space and facilities, free IT and wifi, free business mentoring, events and cash prizes. But as the year progressed we realised the greatest impact was out of our hands – the power of collaboration. The start-up renaissance is under way as 16 of our first January intake last week graduated to #GoDo. With our round table discussion to celebrate such a momentous day, including our initial intake of start-ups, the ESpark team, Sir William Haughey and our RBS sponsors only cementing the strong bond developed by the ‘rising tide floats many boats mantra’ as they each shared their start-up journey together. Through the trials and tribulations and many wins, the positive ‘can-do’ attitude brewing in the Hatchery really can make the entrepreneurial process that bit easier to achieve.
As Sir William Haughey (our Glasgow philanthropist) beamed with pride as it all started under his roof, he noted ‘learn from each others mistakes and they won’t happen twice’. To hear feedback from the start-ups who’ve lived it every day for the past year really was invaluable.
Cally Russell – Mallzee ‘It’s not just the people who have worked with us that are important it’s the people who have worked around us that have made this year so special - from the first intake that helped make such a great atmosphere and community’.
Victoria Arnold – Desk Union ‘Without doubt the most invaluable support network you will have is with your peers. I realize that I’ve been in an exceptional position over the last 12 months. Sharing my days at ESpark with other entrepreneurs going through the same struggles as me has had an extremely positive effect on my personal development’.
James Callaghan – Domino Letting ‘What ESpark gives you is the knowledge, access and environment to test your business with your peers, enablers, mentors and industry leaders. Without ESpark I wouldn’t have known exactly what these audiences wanted to hear and how to get to them – the contacts came as a direct result of being an ESpark chiclet. Don’t underestimate the weight this has’.
Marco De Nichillo – Swarmly ‘We were given space to build our companies, craft our message and practice pitching our companies to individuals in the same mindset, with the same fears, same questions and the same hopes. A safe space to get honest, hugely valuable feedback and a network of people who are almost constantly trying to think of ways to help you improve or collaborate to get stuff done’.
Graeme Bodys – Alpine IQ ‘Thanks to everyone in ESpark, I have learned and been inspired by all of you. I’m competitive and seeing others do well inspires us all. I’ve made friends for life and there is a special bond there as well as special people’.
So all we can say is, being an entrepreneur shouldn’t mean being alone. It will always be your vision but spread your network and the weight of the journey will seem that much lighter.