Innovation Birmingham Campus has opened a test lab so that entrepreneurs and developers can see how their apps work on the latest smartphones, tablets and wearables.

The facility has been created so that the 700 people working for startups at Innovation Birmingham Campus can see how new apps and games function across a range devices. 

IT infrastructure manager Ben Hughes and e4f programme manager Michelle Rayner ©Innovation Birmingham Campus
IT infrastructure manager Ben Hughes and e4f programme manager Michelle Rayner ©Innovation Birmingham Campus

The test lab, which has £10,000 worth of hardware and software, is free for all tenants and members of Innovation Birmingham Campus.

It has been created within Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future centre, which hosts an incubator programme for 25 startups each year, provideing entrepreneurs with: mentoring from an entrepreneur in residence, access to finance, visiting expert sessions, invitations to tech events, wi-fi, telecoms, meetings rooms and office space.

Michelle Rayner, Innovation Birmingham’s e4f [Entrepreneurs for the Future] programme manager, said: “We are launching the new facility with 15 of the latest smartphones and mobile tablets, a digital graphics pad, camcorder, directional microphone, WXGA projector, and licensed software testing programmes.

“As new devices are launched to the market, we will refresh the offering and expand the equipment list wherever possible, such as from kind donations from tenants and our wider community.” 

While the new hardware is likely to be welcomed by Innovation Birmingham Campus residents, there are software-based cloud platforms like Xamarin that allow developers to test their apps on multiple operating systems and devices from their desktop. Developers can use Xamarin's own IDE or Visual Studio to build the apps, thanks to a partnership with Microsoft. 

The Entrepreneurs for the Future programme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is understood to have incubated over 100 startups, with 180 new employee and director positions created since November 2009. 

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.