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Startup Support in...Bournemouth

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by Startacus Admin

startup support bournemouth
Bournemouth and Dorset based 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.

After the maritime city of Liverpool, we’re moving south to the seaside city of Bournemouth...

Co-Working space

As always, among the most important thing to locate when you are embarking on a startup journey is space to work. Home is a good, solid starting point, but you’ll probably quickly find there are too many drawbacks, so co-working space is an ideal next step.

startup support bournemouthThe Old School House Boscombe is a co-working space for creatives, situated just around the corner from Boscombe beach. Inside the Grade II listed Neo-Gothic building is a light and inspiring working space with dedicated pods and access to a meeting area for clients. Also coffee. Literally - not figuratively - the most important thing.

THIS Workspace is found in The Echo Building, a Grade II listed Art Deco former printing works. It is full of original details from the 1930s, making it one of the most attractive and unique co-working spaces we have seen. Available space comes in the form of hot desks, dedicated desks, and semi- to fully-enclosed studios. Their coffee is locally sourced. Again, mucho importante.

The Factory Studios is another one for creatives. Already home to photographers, fashion designers, filmmakers, and artists, The Factory Studios offers workspaces, studios, and creative spaces for hire and a creative, inspiring community with which to network.


From £1k startup grants to £25k match-funded growth grants, Dorset Growth Hub exists to help you gain access to funding. However, grants are only available to individuals or organisations that engage with the Dorset Growth Hub for business support.

Dorset Business Angels is an angel investment group focusing on the south of England, investing in and accelerating the growth of startup and early stage businesses. These businesses pitch to the angels at their Investors’ Dinner four times a year.

The startup ecosystem and programmes

Funded by Creative England and delivered by Silicon South, First Bourne is a Bournemouth-specific accelerator programme. Digital startups have a chance of securing a £75k investment in form of £25k and a 3-month residency - complete with mentors, coaches, and guest speakers - and then a further £50k to the two startups Creative England considers the strongest.

Nearby Southampton is home to the Catalyst Programme, run by the University of Southampton Science Park. It is a 6-month programme of intensive mix of mentoring, startup support bournemouthcommercially-focused workshops, and seminars. It includes a £1k grant.

Startup Grind is a global startup community with events around the world, including in Bourthmouth. An upcoming event in Bournemouth is based on what investors look for.

Meeting quarterly in Canvas Loft Bar in Bournemouth to learn, share, and make connections in the creative and business community is Open Sauce. This networking event is part magazine, which is distributed at the meetings.

Similarly, Meetdraw is a laidback, informal networking event for people with similar interests in the creative and digital industries. Meetdraw now has more than 35 events under its belt and is still going strong.

For East Dorset, Outset  runs a fully funded programme of workshops, online resources, and advisor support to help you explore and develop your plans.

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

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Published on: 26th October 2018

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