Swindon is not only home to the UK’s Innovation Agency and Research Councils (UKR&I) but also is a place where technology-based businesses have the opportunity to both settle and thrive.
Its excellent communication links and geographic centrality has over the years made it home to a number of high-tech businesses. Today, the biggest tech employer is Nationwide Building Society, with c1,500 tech staff employed at their Swindon HQ.
However, where Swindon is developing a national reputation is in being home to a number of smaller, newly emerging tech businesses that recognise the opportunities that its unique location and the local business support ecosystem brings.
The phrase 'It takes a village to raise a child' is very true of the variety of local regional and national initiatives that Swindon businesses can access, but one that maybe requires special mention is Innovate UK’s Innovate 2 Succeed programme.
Specifically targeted at high growth, tech based businesses, Innovate2Succeed, which is fully funded by Innovate UK in its own home town, is designed to deliver a bespoke solution to help overcome the challenges an SME faces in getting its service or product from concept to market.
Innovators and entrepreneurs are acutely aware of the challenges and pitfalls a company faces as it attempts to turn its ideas into reality - and access to finance, resources, people, opportunity and know-how are all daily obstacles to success.
Innovate2Succeed recognises these challenges and by providing a unique blend of mentoring, know-how, finance and expertise – has helped many tech-based SMEs grow and prosper, access grants and investment, develop their internal capability and explore and exploit new markets.
By way of illustration of the benefits of Innovate2Succeed, two Swindon-based businesses that have benefitted from the programme include Adstral Fulfilment and BioViron International.