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A Year at Cambridge Incubator

Benjamin Storey, Head of Eagle Labs Cambridge

As the embers of 2017 start to fade, December often became a convenient time to reflect and look back fondly on the achievements of the year. Like so many professionals, I used to become entranced with performance metrics, KPI’s and the deadlines I could or couldn’t make and like so many of us, I believed I would press the reset button, put on the ‘focus face’ and set my aspirations for the next year.

The love of what I do and the people I engage with makes this year’s reflective prose less of habit or regulation and more of jubilation, *with a touch of pinching myself.

Barclays Eagle Labs is an extremely rewarding workplace. My role in the Cambridge incubator is to assist local people to accelerate the growth of their business, fulfilling their ambitions and to ultimately change their lives. What a rewarding year 2017 has been!

The Eagle Lab incubator based on Chesterton Road in 2017 has helped its member businesses create 53 onsite local jobs, support their members to raise a cumulative £108m in external financing, and seen 3 graduate businesses. We have seen 1 Golden Globe nomination for current member Trademark Films for their work on the movie 'Loving Vincent' (trailer below), one member appear in a BBC Horizon special, nine businesses win industry recognised awards in a variety of sectors, and we are barely scratching the surface. Ultimately, the credit rightly sits with our member businesses who work tirelessly, for long hours, creating opportunities and challenging convention, to do things a different way and disrupt their industry.


 

In 2017, we have hosted over 130 events open to our members and wider ecosystem, from our executive education orchestrated by Cambridge Judge Business School, to inspirational speakers of local successful entrepreneurs. Our ever popular free networking monthly Beer & Pizza event and our industry specialist speakers who offer their time and expertise for free to assist the businesses on-hand whenever they have a problem. We even had time for BBC Apprentice winner Joseph Valente to give an inspirational talk about succeeding at business.

A couple of events highlights were the inaugural 'AI Frenzy' event in December which had over 150 registrations to attend; and a packed out 75 attendees to our televised Barclays High-Growth team led 'Preparing for your business exit' talk in September. Two themes clearly at the heart of our Cambridge ecosystem.
 
This year we saw the lab overfill, with 96 members at its peak. This confirmed we needed to expand, and in September, with demand high, we expanded, creating seven further private offices, additional facilities and an extra events space. We increased our capacity from 82 members to 136. Our community of co-workers continue to connect, collaborate and thrive in the environment of high-growth businesses, making it one of the most sought-after co-working locations in Cambridge.

What a fantastic year 2017 has been in the lab! It's almost hard to believe Barclays Eagle Labs Cambridge incubator only opened just 18 months ago. 
Sentimentally, I am extremely proud of what my team have achieved this year in meeting their objectives to assist our community to grow. Furthermore, I am ecstatic but not surprised at some of the successes our members wow me with on a weekly basis. They truly are exceptional!

So, 'focus face' for 2018. Aside from some incredibly exciting and disruptive businesses joining the Eagle Labs incubator in January, and aside from the events calendar which we expect to exceed in volume and quality, what can I, my team, our members and everyone else in our ecosystem expect from the incubator in 2018? Well, nothing is going to change! We will continue focusing on what's best for your business to help it to grow. We will continue to connect our members and community to individuals and businesses to help them achieve their objectives. We will continue to connect you to finance opportunities whatever stage your business is at, and we will continue to strive to be Cambridge's premier skills factory for business executive education.

My target of growing your business to graduate from the incubator will never change.
In 2018, we will also focus beyond the walls of our incubator, aiming to assist and add value to businesses based throughout our local ecosystem, wherever they are based.

So as you start to plan what fortunes you will achieve in 2018, I implore you to get in touch and find out how Barclays Eagle Labs will help you achieve your ambitions. My team and I would be pleased to meet or speak and understand how we can accelerate your business.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and happy new year from the Eagle Labs Cambridge team. 

Benjamin Storey, Head of Eagle Labs Cambridge

Cambridge Incubator

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