A Look Back at Future Space’s Last Year of Business
The BBQ has been planned and the invites have been sent out, because Future Space is about to turn 2 years old. But before we celebrate our second year of innovative success and look forward to what our next year entails, it’s always good for the soul to see how far we’ve come.
Let’s start with all the new people that we’ve welcomed over the last 12 months. Since our 1st birthday we have said hello to over a dozen new companies. That’s a lot of names to remember, take it from someone that answers all the phone calls! The arrival of so many wonderful new start-ups means we must be doing something right at Future Space, but more to point, more businesses means more opportunity for collaboration - which is something we constantly strive for.
Bringing me to a great side note, in the last year we’ve introduced our Open Door Days. A chance once a month for everyone to network and get to know each other on their own terms. And if nothing else, everyone gets a wonderful cheesy door stop out of it.
As is the nature of running an innovation centre, for every company that joins us, we have to be prepared for those that will leave. As a part of the centre team I can vouch for everyone when I say that working here is hugely bittersweet. Although we’re all as proud as a mum at sports day when a company reaches the point they leave us, as more often than not this means we’ve been out grown. It is also tinged with sadness. We’re so invested in every company in our halls, cutting the cord isn’t always so easy.
Speaking of proud parents, anyone that has seen our twitter feed will know that when a customer is a part of something mega, we like to shout about it. We shout loud and we shout proud! Since our 1st birthday we have witnessed, to name only a few, Esoterix, Open Bionics and Reach Robotics all launch their game changing, innovative products/services into the world and it really has been a joy to watch! To anyone launching soon, we’re behind you the whole
way and if you want a launch event we can help you with that as well.
We talk a lot about community here at Future Space. We believe it is one of the big benefits of joining us, hence why we have our Open Door Days and 1st Thursday Beer and Pizza evenings. We want to bring everyone together. Another way we like to do this is through our business support masterclasses. In the space of 52 weeks, our customers have benefitted from workshops held by; Forrest Brown, Ashfords, Purple Fish, Nuala Foley, Pyramis Solutions, Smith and Williamson and Business Improvers. We've had VWV
start as our lawyer in residence, Smith and Williamson have also had drop-in sessions, as have Corrigan Associates. The bonus of being with us is that we bring in industry buffs from all areas, all year round.
This year hasn’t just been about comings and goings. We’ve had so many other wonderful moments that have warmed our hearts, broaden our smiles and set it in stone that there is magic in the walls of this building. For starters how about Reach Robotics securing Apple as their distributer for the MekaMon?! What about Andrew Mulvenna from Bright Pearl coming to give everyone some pearls of wisdom (haha) on how difficult but ultimately rewarding starting your own business can be. Or our shared labs featuring on ‘Take Me Out’ and if we’re running with the on- screen theme then we have to mention Open Bionics with Tilly on ‘This Time Next Year’ and when Esoterix took over the news with their ‘My First Mile’ launch.
We raised money, £200 to be exact for a wonderful charity ‘Lend with Care’, we had a rowing race and more cakes than a bakery as our fundraising activities. We had our Christmas Get Together with the whole of the UEZ, which went so well we decided to open our customer networking to everyone from the Enterprise Zone. Because we all know that sharing beer and pizza is when good neighbours become good friends. Excitingly our UEZ networking involved a new entity this year – The Health Tech Hub.
The boarded up, secretive site next to the Bristol Robotics Lab blossomed into fully functioning labs, which a couple of our customers have already benefitted from.
Not only did the site itself grow with new neighbours and our customers grow with new employees, the Future Space team had its own growth spurt! In January we welcomed Ollie Collard, our Innovation Manager, who has helped take our Business Support to the next level and Jo Bressington, Centre Support Assistant, or how she should always be acknowledged –
Queen of Reception. Not forgetting, Ryan Gosling (cardboard cut out) who walked into our office after being let go by Esoterix, and hasn’t looked back.
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