Expansion for start-up programme

Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future programme secures new Advisory Mentor as investment reaches £10 million.

Since the launch of Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future programme in November 2009, 120 tech start-ups have been created, with £10 million of investment secured during initial funding rounds. In a new boost to the business incubation offering, Marketing Birmingham’s Roy Meredith has come on board as an Advisory Mentor.

Roy Meredith relocated from London this summer to join Marketing Birmingham as a Senior Business Development Manager. He has extensive experience and knowledge in mobile app publishing, having held senior commercial and software development roles across the computer games, film and music industries for global brands such as Disney, Electronic Arts, Sony Studios, Universal, and Square Enix. Roy will hold one-to-one meetings and roundtable sessions with the tech start-ups enrolled on Entrepreneurs for the Future.

Innovation Birmingham’s business incubation programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. To date, over 200 new employee and director positions have been created. Qualifying tech start-ups receive up to nine months office space, telecoms, meeting rooms and superfast broadband at the Innovation Birmingham Campus. In addition, they benefit from structured mentoring from the Entrepreneurs in Residence and Advisory Mentor, regular visiting expert sessions, a series of workshops and events, networking opportunities and peer-to-peer support. All of this support comes for free; Innovation Birmingham does not take an equity stake in the start-up businesses.

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Innovation Birmingham said: “Securing equity investment can be more of a challenge outside of the South East, so reaching the £10million milestone is a tremendous achievement for our Entrepreneurs for the Future incubation programme. The message we need to continue to spread far and wide is that start-up cash goes a lot further in Birmingham, and the local skills pool makes it an obvious choice to base a tech business. It could be argued that £10million of initial equity investment in our tech start-ups is equivalent to £30million in London.

“Bringing Roy Meredith on board in an Advisory Mentor capacity adds significant depth to our offering to tech start-ups, particularly those launching mobile apps. Having worked for global brands such as Sony, Electronic Arts and Disney, he has a wealth of knowledge and contacts that could be game-changing for early stage businesses.”

Roy Meredith has worked on both games and apps for smartphones and tablets. He is experienced at successfully bringing products to market from the inception, planning, design and development stages. He has also published highly successful products across a range of formats and media. Roy is well-versed in navigating the many pitfalls that start-ups face in bringing their products to market within the challenging smartphone environment.

Roy Meredith, Advisory Mentor to Innovation Birmingham’s Entrepreneurs for the Future programme said: “It will be very rewarding to work with the start-ups and help them to launch their new ventures. Working alongside Innovation Birmingham and colleagues at Marketing Birmingham, we will also be striving to significantly increase the numbers of tech entrepreneurs who relocate to Birmingham.”

Inovation Birmingham has designed its tech incubation programme in order to capture serial entrepreneurs, who as individuals may be working on more than one project concurrently. The Innovation Birmingham Campus is open 24/7, enabling people to work flexibly, or cram in the hours when needed.