Stockport Business Incubator


Summary

Bubble Enterprises has strong links with Manchester University, leading a virtual business incubator
in partnership with the university from 2001 to 2009. A spin-out from this partnership was a second
business incubator, this time with physical premises in Stockport. Bubble managed the incubator for
18 months, supporting dozens of early stage businesses – many of which are still operating today.


Challenges


The University of Manchester established the framework for a number of business incubators in and
around Manchester from 2003 on wards, one of which was set up in Stockport, Greater
Manchester, in partnership with a local entrepreneur.
Managing several incubators required significant ongoing commitment and manpower, and the
university sought to lighten the load by outsourcing management to a trusted partner: in this case,
Bubble.


We were approached to take over management of the Stockport incubator for an interim period, having already successfully operated the incubator at AMBS for eight years. The Stockport Business Incubator was established with the following objectives:


1) Provide premises for early stage media and tech businesses in Greater Manchester
2) Promote growth of these companies through business services, guidance and advice
3) Manage operations on behalf of the University of Manchester


The process


Despite being a micro business, Bubble’s background in incubator management meant that we had
the experience and skills necessary to pick up the university’s business support responsibilities without delay. Through earlier management of The Pod at AMBS, Bubble had a proven track record of competing with much larger facilitators while delivering the same positive results by utilising our excellent resources.

During the 18 months we managed the incubator, Bubble provided expert advice, guidance and networking opportunities for the resident startup businesses, for which we were paid a fee by the local council.


Outcomes

Dozens of early stage businesses passed through the incubator at Broadstone Mill in Stockport, making use of the expert business support facilities offered by Bubble during our management of the initiative.

Many of the startups resident within the incubator continue to operate years later, building on the skills and expertise they developed through the programme. Among the success stories to emerge from the incubator is that of Plasma Clean – an innovative, research-led tech firm set up in 2002.

For more information contact bubble on 0161 375 5111 or e-mail us at hq@bubbleenterprises.co.uk