For a tech start-up the aim is nearly always to “go viral” and spread as far and wide as possible. So it is no surprise that TechHub, which provides work spaces for fledgling technology businesses in London, is looking to colonize more cities starting with Manchester.
The company has teamed up with Town Centre Securities, a property developer, to open an office with 50 desks permanent desks and a drop-in work space in a Grade II listed building in Manchester’s Piccadilly Basin.
TechHub, which was founded in 2010, has played a large role in helping foster the community of start-up businesses around London’s Old Street and Shoreditch area, and the aim would be to do the same up north.
Elizabeth Varley, chief executive and co-founder of TechHub believes that building a technology hub in Manchester will not dilute the efforts going on in London.
“TechHub brings together communities that already exist. What we are seeing in Manchester is there is a community that is emerging, and it is about bringing those people together and connecting them,” she said.
Another four locations are expected to be announced before Christmas, Ms Varley said. The company has also opened its first overseas presence, in Riga, Latvia, earlier this year. It could be a case of today: Manchester, tomorrow: the world.
The regional branches of TechHub will be run by local entrepreneurs, who know the local start-up community. It is, in fact, a little bit like a franchise, although Ms Varley is loathe to use the word “franchise” which has too many connotations of fast food restaurants and none of the aching coolness associated with the start-up scene. So we will stick to calling it “going viral”.