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South West’s Scale Up Community Boosted by Launch of Engine Shed and West of England Growth Hub’s New Growth Map

Published on September 14, 2018
  • Engine Shed and the West of England Growth Hub, supported by the West of England Combined Authority, have launched an innovative new Growth Map to support scaling businesses
  • The Growth Map lists over 50 organisations to help companies find business support in the region and is thought to be a first in the UK.
  • An accompanying AR app helps users explore and engage with companies featured on the map

An innovative new Growth Map supporting the South West economy has been launched today, Wednesday 12th September, by Engine Shed and the West of England Combined Authority through its Growth Hub.

The Growth Map is thought to be a first for the UK and as a free resource has been designed to help scaling companies find business support across the region. Along with its accompanying Augmented Reality (AR) app built by Rocketmakers, the map is a snapshot of the Bristol and Bath start up & scale up support ecosystem that highlights a selection of the local organisations that support founders, employees, network builders, newcomers, and interested people working in and with start-up and scale up companies.

When held over the physical map, the AR app will help users to explore more information about the organisations featured on the Growth Map, and discover how connected and collaborative they are. The accessible data will include website and social media links, contact information, and business descriptions.

The Growth Map currently lists over 50 organisations which Engine Shed has identified as the most engaged and beneficial to start up creation and scale up growth in the region. The data is organised by category to help users easily find the support they are looking for. These categories are:

  • Incubator/Accelerator – An organisation that provides a combination of people, business development processes and infrastructure to support a select group of members and/or tenants.
  • News/Events – An organisation that offers a newsletter and/or events open to the public.
  • Coworking plus – A provider of office or desk space who actively provides broader support to enable business growth.
  • Networks – An organisation which exists partly or wholly to facilitate connections between members or participants, and beyond.
  • Investment – An organisation that offers financial investment or can directly facilitate financial investment for companies and founders.
  • Social Impact – An organisation that supports others to work towards social goals and impact.

The Growth Map was launched by Briony Phillips during her talk at the Tech South West Comes to Bristol event, and highlighted at Tech Nation where Briony chaired a panel on themes such as inclusion and organisational culture with local business leaders.

It is hoped that the Growth Map will be updated semi-annually, and Engine Shed is actively seeking sponsorship to fund interactive versions to be distributed around the region. Organisations are encouraged to print and frame a copy in their office, to download the AR app, and to sponsor a copy of the Growth Map on a university campus or at a train station.

For more information on the extensive support available in the West of England, please visit The West of England Growth Hub and the Scale Up Generator, which features a map of over 400 support services for scaling businesses. The new Growth Map is available to download from www.scaleupgenerator.co.uk and the app is available in android and apple app stores.

Briony Phillips, Associate Director of Engine Shed and former West of England Scale Up Enabler, said:

“We’re really excited to share a brand new map of the most mentioned support for both seasoned and new entrepreneurs in the region of Bristol and Bath. The map is inspired by an example from Sacramento and is, as far as we know, the first version for a UK region. We hope it will enable people across the region to find support, information and events that can help them as they start, scale and drive their business forwards.

“With the help of the AR app, created by Rocketmakers, we hope that the next generation of employees, researchers and visitors will use this tool to find their way around and to discover the great collaborations and projects that are happening across the region – I’m only sorry we couldn’t fit more pins on!”

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “This new Growth Map supported through the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership will be a great add-on to our Growth Hub website, offering businesses more information, support and guidance to access finance and growth opportunities. We are an economically successful region where businesses start, grow and thrive in high numbers. As Mayor, it is one of my priorities to ensure that businesses get the help and support they need to continue to grow and prosper across the region.”

The Growth Hub is hosted by the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership and funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.