Huckletree, the Pan-European workspace and growth accelerator, today opens its first Manchester workspace and announces its commitment to support local entrepreneurs to bridge the talent and investment gap with a series of new partnerships, events and initiatives.
Huckletree will bring together a hand-picked ecosystem of 350 members working in digital lifestyle, media and tech businesses including early members Tech Nation and Pixel Kicks, and has announced new partnerships with the Alliance Manchester Business School and National Startup Accelerator The Pitch to empower local entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs.
“There’s more to our first Northern workspace than instagrammable interiors and wall art,” says Gabriela Hersham, CEO and Founder of Huckletree. “We want this to be a place for businesses to sustainably grow, internationalise and reach productive outcomes. This is not just a space to clock in, work and clock out, and for that reason we’re not for everyone.”
“We’ve tested our curated and themed model in our Soho and Westminster locations to great success and we are committed to delivering long-term value for our members and their industries, rather than pushing for fast wins and growth above all else.”
As part of its commitment to bridging the gap, Huckletree asked local founders to share the biggest challenges facing their businesses today, from building customer bases to impressing investors, and called on the global network of investors, ambassadors and member businesses to crowdsource solutions in a new video series.
“We see ourselves as part of the neighbourhood, not just a place to work. We’re just as invested in the issues that face local businesses, from fairer funding to accessing star talent, and so our programming and partnership initiatives will aim to directly address those barriers,” says Gabriela Hersham.
Commenting on the importance of funding and talent, Elizabeth Scott, Head of Entrepreneur Engagement at Tech Nation, the UK-wide network supporting ambitious tech entrepreneurs says: “I think Manchester’s shown over the last five years how quickly huge amounts of progress can be made. We’re now a really well developed tech ecosystem and can confidently claim to be the country’s most exciting tech hotspot outside of the South East. However there continue to be challenges with funding and talent. I think the former has definitely improved in recent years but there is still more that can be done, and the latter really does remain an issue.”
“I’m proud that Huckletree have chosen Manchester as the first UK city outside of London to expand to. The energy and commitment that Huckletree bring to the concept of co-working is amazing to see. Manchester needs spaces that provide real support for the founders who base themselves there and I know that Huckletree can provide this in spades – both through their community, and network of global ambassadors.”
Aimed at fostering innovation and growth in the Northern region, Huckletree’s first higher education partnership with the business school for the University of Manchester will involve five residency spots for Alumni of the Alliance Manchester Business School and quarterly She’s The Business events, a series of workshops and talks aimed at female entrepreneurs. The partnership will also see Huckletree regularly holding pop-ups in the University’s Enterprise Zone to offer a range of support for students, as well as providing a selection of the University’s programmes to Huckletree’s start-up and scale-up community.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Huckletree on providing pathway opportunities and exposure for our talented entrepreneurs and alumni at the Business School for University of Manchester,” explained Lynn Sheppard, Director of Manchester’s Masood Enterprise Centre at Alliance Manchester Business School.
“There is so much demand for a workspace and growth accelerator that focuses on curation and collaboration. We believe their opening in Ancoats will be vital for the community of Manchester – introducing global VC and investor networks with entrepreneurs on the rise and creating a home for established startups and scale up talent. We are especially looking forward to partnering on our She’s The Business events based on our joint commitment to support female founders and drive fairer funding in the industry.”
The new 26,000 sqft workspace includes a 100+ person Live Lounge, meditation and wellness space and purpose-built podcast studio. It will host a series of weekly curated events and talks will focus on talent and driving Northern investment, including a VC office hours with Beringea on 31 October. Earlier this month Huckletree hosted 50 promising startups for the first ever Northern bootcamp of national startup competition The Pitch in a closed door event to prepare and support UK startup businesses with networking, scaling and fundraising.
With Huckletree currently marking five years of operations, the business recently shared plans on its strategy for expansion and growth – which also sees it open in Oslo, its first European location outside of the UK and Ireland.