Nexus celebrates official launch with new tenants and partners
It’s been a busy few months for Nexus, the University of Leeds’ new £40m innovation hub. With a string of new tenants, numerous strategic partnerships, and a full programme of events, the Nexus community is thriving following the official launch in May.
The doors are officially open
Following two years of construction, the building reached a major milestone in April, as the Nexus team and the University’s Research & Innovation Service, moved into the state-of-the-art facility.
The official opening event followed on 14th May, with business leaders joining the Nexus community to mark the launch of a major new report, ‘The Changing Nature of R&D’, a joint venture between the CBI and Nexus. Hosted by broadcaster and Channel 4 News presenter, Cathy Newman, the event featured an insightful panel discussion on the CBI and Nexus report, which states that vital research and development spending is more than two decades behind the UK growth’s target, but that huge opportunities are available as advanced data analytics open up a new frontier for business R&D.
Growing the community
Nexus is now buzzing with exciting start-ups and entrepreneurs, as new tenants continue join the growing community. Some of the latest businesses to join the line-up include innovative wearable technology start-up, Thought Beanie, demographic analysts, Edge Analytics, and Vet-tech start-up, Vet-AI.
Nexus community members benefit from seamless access to the University of Leeds’ expertise, facilities and talent enabling them to achieve their business goals. Thought Beanie will maximise the collaborative opportunities with the University and benefit from Nexus’ commercial advice and investment connections, ahead of the launch of its first consumer product later this year.
Edge Analytics will be making the most of the opportunities to collaborate with the University, as it goes through a phase of new product and service development. Already employing some of the brightest talent from the University, Edge Analytics will continue its recruitment drive in the city, not only employing recent graduates, but also supporting dissertation modules and PhD students.
Vet AI’s move to Nexus will enable the start-up to tap into the University of Leeds’ world-leading academic and research expertise and develop productive working partnerships and collaborations to drive business growth.
Nexus joins forces with KPMG and NorthInvest
Nexus has also secured a number of strategic relationships to ensure tenants can access commercial business advice and investment connections. Joining forces with one of the world’s leading professional services firms, KPMG, Nexus’ community of start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs will be able to work closely with an enterprise manager to identify where they need support and guidance on topics such as access to finance and international expansion. They can also access investment advice and funding support through Northern Powerhouse-backed tech investment platform, NorthInvest, which connects early-stage tech start-ups to investment through angel networks and funds, giving them the opportunity to scale-up and grow. The latest collaborations add further weight to the Nexus offer, which gives seamless access to the University of Leeds’ world-leading academic and research expertise, skills, talent and facilities.
In the spirit of collaboration and sharing ideas, Nexus has launched its annual events programme. From running its own events, like the Bettakultcha series of talks, to supporting some of the region’s most exciting line-ups, including Leeds Digital Festival and the recent Innovate UK and Leeds City Region LEP Business Innovation event; the programme is already proving extremely popular.
The Breakfast Briefing Series – Nexus and KPMG have launched ‘The Breakfast Briefing’ which is a series of events offering entrepreneurs and SMEs advice and support on key business growth issues. Each session is tailored to the needs of innovative start-ups and high growth businesses and features information and advice from a panel of some of the most established business leaders from our region. This is followed by a workshop session, where entrepreneurs and SMEs can discuss challenges specific to them with an expert, and draw on their invaluable experience to navigate the best way forward.
The first in series was ‘Making the most of innovation tax reliefs’, which looked at different incentives available, such as R&D tax allowances and Patent Box, which are designed to help finance high growth and innovation driven businesses as they start up and scale.
The Breakfast Briefing series continues later this year, with:
- Getting Talent on board – Tuesday 10th September
- Sales and Marketing – Tuesday 8th October
- Fundraising and route to exit – Tuesday 12th November
- IP and Insurance – Tuesday 3rd December
For further details on all these events, and the latest news from Nexus, visit https://nexusleeds.co.uk/