Barclays has formed a partnership with the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), to support its Birmingham Eagle Labs Incubator.
The partnership will see the bank and UKBAA- the trade body for angel and early stage investing- pioneer new Angel Hubs, by including local angel investors in Barclays’ new network of entrepreneurial spaces. The intention is that through the collaboration, entrepreneurs will have access to a range of experts for mentorship and guidance around topics such as funding, as well as access to physical space in which to develop their business ideas and to grow.
Richard Heggie, Head of High Growth and Entrepreneurs at Barclays commented on the partnership, says: “We know that for UK businesses, access to the right types of funding plays a vital role in their growth and this partnership with the UKBAA will help ambitious entrepreneurs. We want UK scale ups to have access to a range of experts in our newly launched Eagle Labs. This supports our plans to help high growth businesses across the country achieve scale through tailored advice, funding and mentorship. We’re pleased to start this partnership in Birmingham, which in turn will also help strengthen the angel community in the region, crucial to sustainable economic development.”
The partnership with Barclays will provide a focal point for UKBAA to mobilise the local investment community for a range of activities.
Jenny Tooth, CEO UK Business Angels Association, says: “While the angel market is flourishing in London, there is an opportunity to support its further development in other regions and cities around the UK. We are delighted to be launching the first of our regional Angel Hubs at Barclays’ new Eagle Lab in Birmingham. This will offer a new focal point to build and connect the angel community, offering opportunities for both existing and would-be angels to drop in and meet fellow investors and develop new syndicates and to meet and potentially invest in the innovative entrepreneurs and “makers” at the Eagle Lab. Investors will be able to access entrepreneur pitching events, as well as awareness and training workshops for new angels, drawing on our new Angel Qualification and Accreditation programme.”
The Birmingham Eagle Lab will open in April. Part of Innovation Birmingham, the 2,500 sq ft business Incubator within the Serendip Smart City Incubator is designed to drive innovation and open up a wealth of opportunities for UK start-ups. The Incubator will work alongside Innovation Birmingham for qualifying start-up and high growth potential early stage companies.
Earlier this month, Barclays announced its plan to introduce a national network of Eagle Labs, supporting UK businesses and entrepreneurs. Barclays Eagle Lab Incubators will specifically target high-growth firms and entrepreneurs, giving fast growing businesses the space and resources to help them succeed. They will be able to collaborate with other like-minded businesses, mentors and industry experts. Under its High Growth & Entrepreneurs initiative, Barclays launched two dedicated funds totalling GBP150 million to specifically help innovative companies: Barclays’ High Growth Venture Debt Fund and Innovation Finance.