Loughborough University: Free coaching, office space and support to accelerate growth of early-stage Leicestershire businesses

Three online events next month will show business founders how they can access free support from LU Inc. as part of a Leicestershire project supporting entrepreneurs as the region emerges from the Pandemic. You can book now here.

LU Inc. is Loughborough University’s business Incubator. It is an innovative and supportive start-up community working with ambitious founders from across the region and beyond.

Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, including recent graduates and local founders developing businesses outside of the University, are welcome on its business start-up accelerator programme. It offers businesses a range of free benefits including:

Coaching as members rapidly test new ideas and business ventures
Mentorship and motivation in 12-week expert-led workshops
Connections and support to access networks across the region
Free access to flexible shared office space at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) and in Loughborough town centre
Potential funding towards follow-on workspace for local entrepreneurs
Start-up fund support for University graduate entrepreneurs
Pete Hitchings, LU Inc. manager, said: “We aim to recruit 20 new or growing businesses for the Spring cohort. Our new members will be introduced so that groups of similarly experienced businesses can form and support each other’s growth.

“Workshops will begin in early March. Before then, our three online events present an opportunity for those who are interested to find out more and register for details.”

The business start-up accelerator programme is part-funded by Charnwood Enterprise Zone Historical Business Rates and is overseen by Charnwood Borough Council and the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

Councillor Jonathan Morgan, Leader of Charnwood Borough Council and District Councils Representative on the LLEP Board of Directors, said: “One of our top priorities is to create a thriving economy and supporting and nurturing exciting new businesses is a critical part of that.

“This programme will help companies to grow and develop and we are delighted to be able to support them.

“If you are a new business, or thinking of starting one, I would urge you to consider being part of the Business Accelerator Programme.”

Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP board, said: “More than 99% of Leicester and Leicestershire’s businesses are micro, small or medium-sized enterprises.

“By working with LU Inc. and other partners to support the launch and growth of exciting local businesses, the LLEP is helping to develop innovative, productive and sustainable employers of the future.”

The Accelerator Programme commences twice each year. Applications for the Spring intake close on February 22 and businesses are registering now.

LU Inc. has planned three events for small business founders to discuss the benefits of the programme. They are:

Meet the Founders: Wednesday 9 February (9.30am-11am)
Two start-up founders will discuss with the audience how they built and scaled their businesses. LU Inc. member Kate Walker, multi-award-winning founder of ExpHand Prosthetics, and experienced serial entrepreneur Elliott Perry, will discuss their business successes and challenges and share insights from their journey through business accelerators.

Meet the Founders: Wednesday 16 February (12.30pm-2pm)
In the first of two LU Inc. events for Leicestershire Innovation Festival, tech start-up founders Tom Jelliffe and David Chan will answer questions about their experiences of launching, funding and growing successful companies. LU Inc. member Tom is the founder of Tzuka, the company developing the world’s most durable earbud technology. Serial entrepreneur David is CEO and co-founder of eCora.

Business Accelerator Programme Q&A: Monday 21 February (2pm-4pm)
The second LU Inc. event for Leicestershire Innovation Festival is an open drop-in session for those interested in starting or developing a new business. Register now for a chat with members of the incubator’s team relating to the application process, office facilities, current availability, funding and LU Inc.’s bespoke training programs.

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