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Startup Support in...Cardiff

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by Startacus Admin

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

indycube logoAway 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 however, 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 a look at startup support in Cambridge, we’re hopping over the border and taking a look at the key support and help you can get for your startup in Cardiff...

Co-Working spaces

Indycube has 6 co-working spaces in Cardiff alone. Some are dog-friendly, some have bicycle parking, but all of them have free tea and coffee, access to a community network, legal services, roadside assistance(!), gadget insurance, and even HR support. Whether you want a relaxing day of replying to emails while a dog peacefully snores next to you or collaboration in the university-based fab lab, Indycube will have a location for you.

Rabble Studio offers 3 options for co-working: 6 days per month hot desking, weekday hot desking, and a fixed desk available 24/7. Located near Cardiff Bay, this space is situated perfectly, and includes unlimited tea and coffee, free meeting rooms, studio breakfasts and lunches, and the occasional beer and film get-together.

Tramshed Tech also offers 3 desk options: a day pass, 60-hour month hot desking, and unlimited hot desking. They also offer private office units. This cosy yet spacious location offers business support, events and meetups, community socials, an accelerated growth programme, and a large meeting/event space.

Tec Marina is a light, open, and colourful co-working space. The important unlimited coffee is there, as is their 5-star gym, games room, 24/7 access, meeting rooms, and 31 serviced private offices.


bethesparkCardiff is surprisingly sparse in terms of investment opportunities specific to the city. It will take some extra searching to find what you need, or of course you could go wider to more broadly Wales-specific or even UK investment.

The Development Bank of Wales has finance plans from £1k to £5m. We don’t normally like to link to loan options, but this finance also comes in return for equity for the larger amounts of over £50k.

Speaking of the Development Bank of Wales, they also manage a co-investment fund of angel investors, for investment up to £8m.

A slightly different take on looking for investment is Pitch It, which is an event held by Inspire Wales and BeTheSpark. It allows 5 successful entrepreneurs to pitch to a panel of judges for the chance of an equity investment of £10k-50k. The first Pitch It event in Wales was held in October this year, but keep a look out for it coming around again.

For a nice list of grants and funds available in the wider area - i.e. all of Wales - has put together a wealth of information.

The startup ecosystem and programmes

wales startup awardsStartup Grind is a global startup community with events in more than 350 cities across 110 countries, including in Cardiff. Their next event will be about that all-important work-life balance that entrepreneurs in particular struggle with.

One of the founding members of GlobalEPIC - the Global Ecosystem of Ecosystems Partnership in Innovation and Cybersecurity - Cyber Wales is, as the name suggests, a Welsh cyber ecosystem connecting business, academia, government, and cyber defence.

The Wales Startup Awards celebrates the best new businesses in Wales. It gets away from the usual black tie approach to business awards and is held in an informal setting at the award-winning Depot in Cardiff, an entrepreneurial startup business itself.

With a goal to increase expertise, exposure, and investment in the Cardiff tech community, Cardiff Start is a tech-specific startup network. With news, advice, and events, this is a good community to be a part of for any tech startup. Well, any tech startup in Cardiff, anyway.

The Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator is a 6-month, fully funded programme for any sector. Startups going through the programme will be able to work from the programme’s hub for 18 months to further help them get going.

We mentioned their Cambridge flagship, but Barclays Eagle Labs has an accelerator in Cardiff, too. This space is tailored to suit Wales' strengths in high-tech digital and IoT innovation, with additional access to their maker lab and its laser cutting and 3D printing.

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: 4th December 2018

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