TechHub, the startup workspace and community, has announced that it’s expanding its UK presence with the opening of TechHub Manchester. That’s right, it seems that this poster child for the ‘Silicon Roundabout’ tech cluster in London’s East End has gone just a little mad for it.
It’s actually the second time that TechHub has expanded outside London — TechHub Riga in Latvia opened its doors earlier this year — and similarly TechHub Manchester will follow the original model, featuring a drop-in working space for annual members, permanent desks for resident startups and networking opportunities for the local startup scene. In addition, TechHub members get access to the organisation’s online network, which presumably should help to forge links between member startups and to bridge the UK’s traditional North/South divide.
TechHub Manchester itself has been set up by local players in Manchester’s digital startup scene: Doug Ward and Shaun Gibson (creators of Tech Britain), Ben Hookway and Martin Bryant (Managing Editor at The Next Web blog).
It’s scheduled to open in mid-November, with TechHub having agreed terms with property investment and development company, Town Centre Securities (TCS), for office space over two floors in Carvers Warehouse in Piccadilly Basin, Manchester.
While the UK’s Manchester may seem a curious choice for TechHub’s next stop on the road to European expansion, the city is known for startups and technology companies such as… such as… let me think for a minute…
Okay, over to TechHub Manchester co-founder Martin Bryant:
“I think that Manchester’s strong groundings in computer science, creative/digital arts and marketing – not to mention its heritage of ballsy individuals with strong visions – should add up to a city full of interesting, innovative startups. That’s not happened yet, but there’s a definite change in the air in recent months that undoubtedly stretches well beyond the usual PR guff that city marketing departments send out. TechHub launching here is a real endorsement of the city’s potential. We don’t want to be Silicon Valley – we’re Manchester.”
Bryant also tells me that there are a plethora of tech startups in the area, although they don’t tend to shout about it. These include 500 Startups and Seedcamp-backed Rentlord, one-click payment platform App55, sales prospect analysis tool CANDDi, events promotions service Crowd.fm, and CRM platform Capsule CRM. In addition, Laterooms was founded and is still in Manchester, while mobile technology giant Myriad Group also has a big presence in the region.