Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

Firms at Cardiff Business Hub Celebrate £1m in Investment and 95 New Jobs

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Businesses based at a Cardiff accelerator hub have attracted more than £1 million in investment in just six months.

The Entrepreneurial Spark powered by NatWest hub opened in Cardiff’s Central Square last August, and has so far supported 64 businesses. Entrepreneurial Spark’s 2016 Impact Report, released today (Mon), shows that between them the businesses have:

  • Created 95 jobs.
  • Raised £1.05 million in investment.
  • Seen a total turnover of more than £6.4 million.

The average turnover per business in the Cardiff hub was more than £100,000.

lucy-rose-walkerCaroline Thompson, NatWest’s entrepreneur development manager, who oversees the hub, said:

“These fantastic results reflect the hard work, dedication and sheer entrepreneurial spirit among the start-ups and growing businesses who have been based here since we opened six months ago. The Entrepreneurial Spark programme complements perfectly the strong support networks which we are lucky to have in Cardiff for small businesses, and we are proud to play our part in helping to create jobs and investment in the Welsh economy.”

Run in partnership with KPMG Enterprise, Dell Technologies and Harper Macleod, the hub provides free support, mentoring, networking and office accommodation for entrepreneurs.

AMPLYFI, an artificial intelligence firm that enables organisations to identify technology and market disruptions by accessing the ‘Deep Web’, has been based at the Cardiff hub since it opened.

chris-ganjeCEO Chris Ganje said:

“The past six months has seen AMPLYFI transition from an early stage start-up to a fully funded start-up that is now well positioned to rapidly commercialise and scale our first product, DataVoyantTM. This has been an intense period during which we’ve completed 12 pilot programmes, attracted a large equity investment, and secured a £400,000 loan from the Welsh Government.”

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

The NatWest Entrepreneurial Spark free business accelerator in Cardiff has really helped boost entrepreneurialism in Wales. It was great to see the energy and collaboration in the hub while visiting the accelerator with NatWest CEO Ross McEwan earlier this month. If start-ups are to survive and thrive it is vital that they get access to business networks and business expertise and this partnership between the bank and Entrepreneurial Spark is exactly what they need.”

The Cardiff hub is one of 12 across the UK.

Lucy-Rose Walker, Entrepreneurial Spark CEO, said:

“We’ve given this Impact Report the title ‘Blow Your Mind’ and it’s not hard to see why. The stats are truly mind blowing and we’ve enabled our entrepreneurs to create real jobs, huge turnover and significant investment via our focus on developing their entrepreneurial mindsets and behaviours. Our entrepreneurs have now turned over £176 million, so it is clear what an impact we are having on the UK economy.

“Our vision is to create positive social change by giving people the chance to grow and create jobs, and value in the economy. It’s really gratifying to see that those entrepreneurs have now created 3,152 jobs across the UK, all of them creating social change by contributing to their communities and local economies.”