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Startup Support and help in Cambridge

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by Startacus Admin

Cambridge startup support
Cambridge based early stage startups and entrepreneurs take note - here's the lowdown on key startup support and help available where you are...


Away from the established startup hubs like London, the support for setting up a business isn’t always so clear. It’s not a lack of support, just a quieter ecosystem that takes a little more work to unearth. We want to help with this by highlighting what some cities, which might not spring immediately to mind at the mention of ‘startups’, have to offer.

From startup support in Birmingham, we’re skipping eastward - and sneaking a little closer to London - to Cambridge

And good timing it is, as fab real-life business and social network TableCrowd have just announced that they will be launching their informal 'business dinners with expert speaker' events in Cambridge, their second City base after London. 

bradfield centreCo-Working space

Cambridge is perhaps the most expensive of the cities we have written about so far in terms of co-working space, but it offers some great locations.

Cambridge Business Lounge offers serviced Offices & flexible working space in the heart of Cambridge. Includes coworking / hot-desking, meeting rooms, virtual office services, and more.

Cambridge Space offers 3 different work zones based on your type of work, regular events and workshops, community lunches and breakfasts, unlimited tea and coffee, bookable car parking, and more from £50 per month. Note, however, that this space is only open Monday-Friday, 9am-5.30pm, which isn’t ideal for some startups.

The Bradfield Centre is a fancy, shiny place that offers 24/7 access to drop in members (up to 40 hours per month), permanent desks, or private offices. This space includes a reception service, kitchen with complimentary tea and coffee, 100-seater auditorium, showers, plenty of free events, and it’s dog friendly.

Future Business Centre offers shared desks, a dedicated desk, or a private office, and membership includes event space and meeting rooms, 24/7 access, kitchen facilities with all-important coffee, seminars and events, on-site parking, outdoor workspaces, and a lot more. A dedicated desk here is £220 per month.

Cambridge Deskspace doesn’t have dedicated desks, but rather is for hot-desking only. It offers free, unlimited refreshments and use of the kitchen, free access to masterclasses, and collaboration between entrepreneurs and students. It is nearby the botanical garden and is surrounded by cafés. It is only open 10am-7pm, Monday-Friday, however.

Finances

moneySeed Funds from Cambridge Enterprise is the University of Cambridge’s preferred investor, and can invest up to £1m in university spin-outs. From there, its sister fund, CIC, offers follow-up funding and seed capital. Seed Funds can also work with teams to find further investment, including VCs.

Angel network Cambridge Angels invests in and mentors innovative entrepreneurial teams, be they startup or scale-up. They have particular interest in technology, internet, software, hardware, digital healthcare, and life sciences.

With offices in Cambridge, Amadeus invests in startups and scale-ups. They are interested in high growth tech businesses. They already invest in businesses in digital media, AI and machine learning, cyber security, med-tech, and more.

Enterprise East Cambridgeshire offers their services in assisting with finding grants, loans, and funding, offering advice, tools, and a wealth of knowledge for the process.

Unsurprisingly for a city famed for its university, the University of Cambridge offers help and support for startups, including this startup support knowledge base and its list of potential funding sources.

The startup ecosystem and programmes

accelerator As mentioned above, as Tablecrowd have just launched in Cambridge, we'd expect their startup community influence to grow. Tablecrowd is a real life business network that hosts private dining experiences with brilliant after dinner speakers. 

The Barclays flagship Eagle Labs incubator is based in Cambridge. With hot desking, fixed desk, and private office options, the incubator offers everything a co-working space does, with mentors and coaches from Cambridge Judge Business School, Barclays expertise and connections, an onsite team to help you scale, potential access to all kinds of funding, and much more.

Incubyte is a digital incubator based in Cambridge Innovation Park. It is open to technology startups in general, with a particular interest in AI and Deep Learning, Fintech, Agritech, Cleantech, and Media & Entertainment. The incubator provides personalised programmes of mentoring and professional expertise rather than a generic one-size-fits-all programme. And the Innovation Park has free parking, spa, gym, and on-site café, if you needed more incentive!

As a cross-sector membership organisation, Cambridge Network organises events for members to meet, share ideas, learn, and collaborate. Just this month, Cambridge Network has events for overcoming barriers to international growth, a Funding Circle meetup, a Photoshop training course for beginners, an Excel training course, an event to connect and support women in business, and many others squeezed in before the end of the month.

Back to the university, and the Judge Business School offers four types of accelerator: there is the pre-accelerator; the accelerator; Accelerate Plus, for go-to-market, bootstrapping, and fundraising; and Accelerate Star, for growth. Star is up to 18 months, while the other accelerators are 3-month programmes.

As always, this is not an exhaustive list, so feel free to let us know at [email protected] if you think there is a particularly deserving entity in any of these categories.



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Published on: 25th November 2018

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