Barclays has opened its third Eagle Labs space in Brighton after successful pilots in Bournemouth and Cambridge.
The new Barclays Eagle Labs will provide access to resources including expert mentoring, event space, 3D printers and laser cutters – giving the UK’s start-ups and scale-ups a crucial boost.
Barclays invites businesses and individuals to build their digital and business skills through its investment in Eagle Labs, which the bank hopes will encourage innovation in the future of fast growth sectors, in addition to UK manufacturing and production. Over the coming year the bank will open up to 20 Eagle Labs as part of its wider roll out across the UK, including in Birmingham and Huddersfield.
The spaces are specifically designed around the needs of local entrepreneurs, businesses and communities and tailored to suit regional economic strength in specific industries. The Labs will be supported by Barclays’ Digital Eagles and feature:
- Barclays Eagle Lab – Incubators – will specifically target high-growth firms and entrepreneurs who are projecting 20% growth or more, giving fast growing businesses the space and resources to help them succeed. They will benefit from collaborating with other like-minded business, and mentoring from Barclays industry experts.
- Barclays Eagle Lab – MakerSpaces – will offer access to 3D printers and laser cutters. This means businesses will have access to the tools they need to rapidly produce and test prototypes without having to import from overseas, and can reduce the time and cost taken from concept to market significantly.
Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, believes that technology is a fundamental component to how start-ups can grow and scale. By giving companies access to a 3D printer, people can now turn a clever idea into a business success overnight. In addition financial expertise and mentoring will be available onsite to help companies grow and succeed.
The latest Barclays and BGF Entrepreneurs Index revealed the number of start-ups is at its highest in three years, up 3.86% nationally in the first half of 2015. However, the number of high-growth businesses declined, showing more needed to be done to support businesses to thrive and survive.