Birmingham innovators open their doors for OpenCo UK

National drive to boost new businesses.

OpenCo, the ‘festival of innovation’, has announced that an exciting group of Birmingham businesses will take part in its first nationwide event to be held simultaneously across multiple cities. This autumn’s showcase will see some of the city’s most innovative enterprises open their doors to the public, as the event expands to the whole of the UK.

Offering a unique opportunity to see and hear from some of the country’s most dynamic start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses, OpenCo is a must for anyone interested in what really happens behind the curtains of the UK’s most creative companies.

This year, 16 Birmingham businesses have joined the OpenCo line-up for the event on October 2nd across the city centre, whilst simultaneous events in London, Manchester, Sheffield, Bristol & Bath and Liverpool will take the total number of HostCos across the UK to over 100. Packt Publishing, Oxygen Accelerator, ORB and One Result are amongst the 16 companies taking part in Birmingham. Each will be welcoming visitors into their workspace to hear their secrets of success and learn more about their story, during a free 45 minute session.

Backed by Tech City UK, and supported by Marketing Birmingham, the city’s strategic marketing partnership, OpenCo will be hosted by media agency IPG Mediabrands, with support from the Financial Times, Jargon PR and TimeOut.

The festival is described by founders as a mashup of an open studio tour and a tech conference, with the vibe of a music festival. The free, one day event is broken down into one hour segments, where the leaders of HostCo’s share the stories behind their business, their vision, as well as any new projects or developments they are working on.

OpenCo (known as NewCo outside the UK) now also takes place in New York, Detroit, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Boulder, Los Angeles, London and Amsterdam, and has attracted over 10,000 attendees over the past two years – with the participation of many of the world’s most inspiring and forward-thinking business leaders. Co-Founder & IPG Mediabrands Global Strategy Officer Hamish Kinniburgh says: “From new start-ups or a well-established global firms, OpenCo offers the opportunity to experience innovation up close and personal in its native habitat, giving people the opportunity to hear from some of the most talented business minds out there and see some of the city’s most dynamic work environments.”

Wouter Schuitemaker, Investment Director at Business Birmingham, the city’s official inward investment programme, added: “By throwing open the doors of some of Birmingham’s most entrepreneurial businesses, OpenCo offers an opportunity to gain an insight into the innovative thinking that is powering their success. From the use of illustration to unlock creativity at ORB to the springboard support offered by tech accelerator Oxygen, the companies involved will pass on insights that will inspire, enthuse and engage attendees.”

Tech City UK CEO, Gerard Grech commented, “We’re delighted to be partnering with OpenCo to make the UK the first country to host the event simultaneously in multiple cities. This event is very much in line with our mission of accelerating the growth of digital businesses, sharing best practices, spreading opportunities and connecting groups engaged in digital innovation across the UK.”