As one might expect, London is home to the vast majority (61 percent) of the UK’s tech incubators and accelerator programmes, with large organisations like John Lewis, Barclays and Red Bull all running their own programmes in the city last year. But other UK cities are keen to join the race and nurture their own tech startups.
Birmingham has just started expanding an innovation campus next to Aston University, putting it on on a scale rivalling anything that currently exists in London.
The Innovation Birmingham Campus is set to get four new buildings, including a new £8 million iCentrum accelerator, which is expected to create 400 skilled tech jobs in startups and generate £25 million for Birmingham's economy each year.
Dr David Hardman, chief executive of Innovation Birmingham, said: "We have a waiting list for space at the Innovation Birmingham Campus, and this new state-of-the-art incubation facility will drive a new generation of tech entrepreneurs for the city.
"As a lighthouse - a beacon for Birmingham’s innovation-led community – it will act as a focal point for the city’s burgeoning tech scene, helping to ensure Birmingham is recognised as one of the great UK tech cities."
Startups across the UK are understood to be leaving their local areas for London on their quest for success.
iCentrum is being funded through a commercial loan, agreed with Birmingham City Council, to cover the main building costs. In addition, Innovation Birmingham has secured funding from the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership to create additional coworking space in the new building.
Sir Albert Bore, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "iCentrum will drive forward our Smart City agenda, creating hundreds of new jobs within local SME tech firms, based within the building and across the Greater Birmingham region.
"Its rich mix of entrepreneurship and collaborative activity will be a magnet for an increasingly mobile workforce; it will firmly position us on the UK’s tech map."
Building on the 41,700 sq ft iCentrum building began last week and is expected to be completed by March 2016.
The top floor will feature a range of flexible office suites for growing entrepreneurial tech companies, while the first floor will be home to Innovation Birmingham's 'Serendip' incubator. The sectors Serendip will aim to support inclide: built environment, intelligent mobility, the internet of things and digital health.
The Innovation Birmingham Campus, which sits on Birmingham Science Park Aston and is wholly owned by Birmingham City Council. It is already home to 120 companies, with specialisms including coding, software, digital gaming and low carbon technologies.
While iCentrum looks like it will be beneficial to local companies, it will be dwarfed by a new innovation campus beind built at the Olympic Park in London called Here East.
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