The Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise, Welsh ICE, has opened its next round of funded spaces and is now inviting applications from vibrant startups and entrepreneurs.
The funding is designed to give startup businesses a structured route to sustainability, creating jobs and boosting the Welsh economy.
The support will be delivered through the Campus’ ICE 50 programme, where 50 start-up businesses will receive a fully-funded package including full-time desk space, a tailored mentoring programme, creative workshops, telephone and high-speed internet access and one-to-one support for 12 months.
The news comes following the announcement that Welsh ICE has been chosen to deliver one of four new regional enterprise hubs, with the Campus supporting the South East Wales Valleys region.
Along with the Wrexham Enterprise Hub, the five hubs across Wales are funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and will see over £4m invested to provide supportive spaces and mentoring for new and growing businesses.
Campus Director Jamie McGowan said:
“The ICE 50 is our flagship support model, giving businesses a home, along with the support they need to get their enterprises off the ground. This support, and the unique community at ICE, has meant that more than 77% of businesses that start at ICE go on to survive for three or more years – higher than the UK average of 61%.
“With the support of our partners at Business Wales, we are excited to launch the next cohort of ICE 50 and are looking forward to welcoming the next generation of founders to visit our newly renovated community space on Campus.”
Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates said: “I’ve seen first-hand how ICE 50 can help budding businesses and would encourage anyone who thinks it might prove beneficial to them to apply and see whether they too can benefit.
“As one of the five hubs across Wales supporting new start and early-stage businesses with flexible coworking space and business support, ICE is a great example of how Welsh Government and partners are helping make good their commitment to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship when it is most needed. I hope to see ICE 50 continue to go from strength to strength, delivering support across a range of locations, and am encouraged to see the work already being done to engage with entrepreneurs across the South East Wales Valleys as part of their outreach programme.”
Since its founding in 2012, businesses at ICE have generated a £53m net GVA benefit to the Welsh Economy, and the Campus now looks to support the next generation of start-up businesses.
Jamie continued: “We are always looking to reach out to those who have started a business or are thinking about making that leap. The spirit of collaboration and support at ICE is a testament to how welcoming the community is and we would encourage budding entrepreneurs to put their business ideas on paper and contact us. With the guidance and support of the ICE campus, it really is possible to grow a business of your own.”