Starting a business can feel very lonely. Working within entrepreneurial communities with like-minded individuals can help improve well-being and productivity. That’s why we are proud to be sponsored by ‘Eagle Labs’, a UK co-working initiative from Barclays.
Barclays’ Eagle Labs initiative was set up to support the UK’s entrepreneurial community and drive digital skills development. The first hub opened in 2015 through converting an under-utilised Barclays branch space into a thriving business incubator and maker space.
Even though Barclays Eagle Labs is a national brand, its main aim is to empower local communities. Every hub has a local Ecosystem Manager whose job is focused on developing relations with stakeholders and local entrepreneurs. In 2018/2019, the North East of England benefited from its first Eagle Labs hub with Andrew Dixon appointed as Ecosystem Manager.
The hub was founded as a merger between co-working space TusPark Newcastle and the Barclays Eagle Labs brand. Combined, these spaces provide strong strong global links between China and the UK, giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to tap into networks and use desk spaces as they travel within both countries.
The Barclays’ Eagle Labs hubs are more than just brick-and-mortar. Based on ecosystem listening, Barclays Eagle Labs customised their spaces to support development of the Industry 4.0, which is a ‘revolution’ of emerging technologies. Each hub concentrates on a particular theme, creating a strong interlinked web of innovation. The Newcastle hub focuses on CleanTech.
To support tech development, the hubs are outfitted with modern in-demand equipment. The Tuspark Newcastle Barclays Eagle Labs hub benefits from a Maker Space with 3D printers, laser tech, hand tools, and an on-site lab engineer to support entrepreneurs with specialised advice.
In addition, Barclays Eagle Labs runs regular events to raise awareness of emerging technologies and opportunities within the field. In December 2018, Barclays Eagle Labs hosted an AI Frenzy in the North East of England to help raise awareness of what local and global organisations are doing with artificial intelligence. This is just one of many more events to come at TusPark Newcastle Barclays Eagle Labs.
TusPark Newcastle Barclays Eagle Labs has attracted a wide variety of tech start-ups, including our parent company ‘Plan Digital’. Earlier this year, it was also home to the Ignite 2018 Pre-Accelerator cohort. Since its launch, TusPark Newcastle Barclays Eagle Labs is turning into a great community and occasionally functions as host to enterprising meet-ups including the Google Machine Learning Group, the ProductTank Newcastle, and our Founders’ Friday series. The hub also regularly attracts business support experts to provide advice to entrepreneurs in residence. This includes weekly drop-ins from our amazing sponsor Sintons Law.
Based in the city centre, TusPark Newcastle Barclays Eagle Labs is easily accessible with close links to other enterprise development services. Within a 10 minutes’ walk, you will be able to access free business support through PNE, conduct market research using the databases from the BIPC, and approach early-stage investment managers. If you want to get out of the office, there is no shortage of independent coffee venues to choose from. This list is not exhaustive.
Want to find out more or see it for yourself? Visit the Barclays Newcastle head office on ‘day 3’ at Newcastle Startup Week and their TusPark Newcastle Barclays Eagle Labs hub on ‘day 5’. Don’t forget to book your ticket today.