Free coaching, office space and support to accelerate growth of early-stage Leicestershire businesses

  • Expert-led training and access to funding available at incubator
  • Introductory sessions to include Q&A with award-winning local start-ups
  • Deadline for Spring intake set for February 22

Do you have an idea for starting your own business? Or have you already launched and are now looking for the space and support to grow?

Three online events next month will show business founders how they can access free support from LU Inc. as part of a Leicestershire project supporting entrepreneurs as the region emerges from the Pandemic. You can book now here.

LU Inc. is Loughborough University’s business Incubator. It is an innovative and supportive start-up community working with ambitious founders from across the region and beyond.

Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, including recent graduates and local founders developing businesses outside of the University, are welcome on its business start-up accelerator programme. It offers businesses a range of free benefits including:

  • Coaching as members rapidly test new ideas and business ventures
  • Mentorship and motivation in 12-week expert-led workshops
  • Connections and support to access networks across the region
  • Free access to flexible shared office space at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) and in Loughborough town centre
  • Potential funding towards follow-on workspace for local entrepreneurs
  • Start-up fund support for University graduate entrepreneurs

Pete Hitchings, LU Inc. manager, said: “We aim to recruit 20 new or growing businesses for the Spring cohort. Our new members will be introduced so that groups of similarly experienced businesses can form and support each other’s growth. 

“Workshops will begin in early March. Before then, our three online events present an opportunity for those who are interested to find out more and register for details.”

The business start-up accelerator programme is part-funded by Charnwood Enterprise Zone Historical Business Rates and is overseen by Charnwood Borough Council and the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

Councillor Jonathan Morgan, Leader of Charnwood Borough Council and District Councils Representative on the LLEP Board of Directors, said: “One of our top priorities is to create a thriving economy and supporting and nurturing exciting new businesses is a critical part of that.

“This programme will help companies to grow and develop and we are delighted to be able to support them.

“If you are a new business, or thinking of starting one, I would urge you to consider being part of the Business Accelerator Programme.”

Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP board, said: "More than 99% of Leicester and Leicestershire's businesses are micro, small or medium-sized enterprises.

"By working with LU Inc. and other partners to support the launch and growth of exciting local businesses, the LLEP is helping to develop innovative, productive and sustainable employers of the future." 

The Accelerator Programme commences twice each year. Applications for the Spring intake close on February 22 and businesses are registering now.

LU Inc. has planned three events for small business founders to discuss the benefits of the programme. They are:

  • Meet the Founders: Wednesday 9 February (9.30am-11am)

Two start-up founders will discuss with the audience how they built and scaled their businesses. LU Inc. member Kate Walker, multi-award-winning founder of ExpHand Prosthetics, and experienced serial entrepreneur Elliott Perry, will discuss their business successes and challenges and share insights from their journey through business accelerators.

  • Meet the Founders: Wednesday 16 February (12.30pm-2pm)

In the first of two LU Inc. events for Leicestershire Innovation Festival, tech start-up founders Tom Jelliffe and David Chan will answer questions about their experiences of launching, funding and growing successful companies. LU Inc. member Tom is the founder of Tzuka, the company developing the world’s most durable earbud technology. Serial entrepreneur David is CEO and co-founder of eCora.

  • Business Accelerator Programme Q&A: Monday 21 February (2pm-4pm) 

The second LU Inc. event for Leicestershire Innovation Festival is an open drop-in session for those interested in starting or developing a new business. Register now for a chat with members of the incubator’s team relating to the application process, office facilities, current availability, funding and LU Inc.'s bespoke training programs.

For more details, please contact the LU Inc. team by emailing Incubator@babyfeedingshop.com.

To apply for LU Inc. membership, visit http://www.lusep.co.uk/wayfinder.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 22/16

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022, and 10th in both the Guardian University League Table 2022 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.

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