Year one of Barclays Eagle Lab in Chesterton

On Monday 9 May 2016, the Barclays branch on Chesterton Road hosted an event to launch Barclays investment into the start-up ecosystem in Cambridge, unveiling and promoting the Barclays Eagle Lab Cambridge Incubator - the first bank-led incubator in the UK.

There were 187 attendees who were amazed by the industrial styled refurbishment of the disused space, and who listened attentively to inspirational speakers Simon McCarthy of Barclays, Dame Sandra Dawson representing Cambridge University and Charles Cotton of the Cambridge Phenomenon. In spite of the successful launch, very few that evening would have foreseen the tangible impact the Incubator has made in the Cambridge start-up ecosystem over the past year.

The Eagle Lab Incubator has rapidly become an integral cog within the Cambridge ecosystem, by assisting local businesses to scale and employ local people. Along with partners Cambridge Judge Business School, an environment of learning and collaboration has developed, creating great opportunity for the incubated businesses to accelerate their business plans.

Since opening, no fewer than 43 start-up businesses and 100 people have resided in the Incubator, while its impact has grown throughout the year. There are currently 34 resident start-ups with a capacity 90 members. Start-ups generally range from 1-10 employees. The impact created for scaling businesses has facilitated 38 new jobs being filled, with several more created to date.

The resident start-ups come from a diverse range of backgrounds and focus on a wide range of sectors including bio-science, pharmaceutical, legal-tech, agri-tech, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence to name a few. The diversity of these aspirational businesses has proven to be no issue for cross-company collaboration. 

The impact has not only been on the Incubator's members but the wider community of the Cambridge ecosystem. Eagle Labs opens up its learning opportunities to the wider ecosystem for free, enabling any interested start-up or scale-up the opportunity to learn from industry specialists, illustrious speakers or even through the mentors and coaches provided by Cambridge Judge Business School. These opportunities are created through series of seminars which run periodically.

Additionally, the Incubator has become well known for hosting its monthly free Pizza and Beer evenings on the first Friday of every month, and its fortnightly free breakfast and networking on Wednesdays which are also open to the public and aim to galvanize the Cambridge start-up ecosystem and provide opportunities for networking and collaboration. These regular seminars and networking events have contributed to over 4500 visitors to the Incubator since its launch, validating the breadth of impact made over the last 12 months.

To mark the anniversary of its launch, the team at the Eagle Lab Incubator hosted a celebration on Tuesday 9 May 2017, attended principally by its members and the local specialists to which had committed their time to help the Incubator make the impact it has. 

Head of Eagle Lab Cambridge, Benjamin Storey said, "We are extremely pleased to see the impact the Eagle Lab incubator has made into the local community over the past 12 months. With over 30 businesses operating from the incubator day-in day-out, we are assisting local businesses to grow and meet their ambitions. I would personally like to thank everyone who has contributed to making the incubator what it is today, from my team onsite, Cambridge Judge Business School, all of our speakers, contributors and suppliers and most importantly our members. We look forward to continuing to serve our community for many more years to come."

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