Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Virgin Media Business teams with Spark®

Virgin Media Business
Thursday 27 June 13

Virgin Media Business and start-up accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark® have teamed up to grow and nurture 50 fledgling businesses at a brand new accelerator in Edinburgh. Opened in February 2013, Virgin Media Business is giving the start-ups access to its 1Gbps Big Red Internet service, completely free of charge. Entrepreneurial Spark® has three accelerator sites across Scotland. The first two – in Glasgow and Ayrshire – launched in 2012. Opening in February, the Edinburgh site’s been launched at a time when innovation is at the top of the Scottish government’s agenda. £30 million has recently been pumped into the country to create three new technology and healthcare innovation centres, a move which is expected to create up to 2…

Virgin Media Business and start-up accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark® have teamed up to grow and nurture 50 fledgling businesses at a brand new accelerator in Edinburgh. Opened in February 2013, Virgin Media Business is giving the start-ups access to its 1Gbps Big Red Internet service, completely free of charge.

Entrepreneurial Spark® has three accelerator sites across Scotland. The first two – in Glasgow and Ayrshire – launched in 2012. Opening in February, the Edinburgh site’s been launched at a time when innovation is at the top of the Scottish government’s agenda. £30 million has recently been pumped into the country to create three new technology and healthcare innovation centres, a move which is expected to create up to 2,000 jobs.

With up to 50 separate companies logging on to the same internet connection to try and run their business, it was crucial that Entrepreneurial Spark® had enough bandwidth to keep the infrastructure from buckling under the pressure. Virgin Media Business is providing these companies with a high-speed, secure, dedicated business-grade internet connection. With more bandwidth and faster upload and download speeds, the start-ups can focus on what’s important: creating innovative products and services and growing their business.

The hub brings together entrepreneurs and start-ups across multiple industry sectors. Everything from the cost of the premises to the utilities and internet services are taken care of by Entrepreneurial Spark® through its work with Napier University and Ann Gloag OBE, whilst Edinburgh City Council supports the site by paying the overheads. Start-ups are invited to join the accelerator for a five-month business acceler-8 programme. They’re able to access everything for free for the duration of the programme if they demonstrate they’re moving their business forward.

Lucy-Rose Walker, chief solutions officer, Entrepreneurial Spark® said: “Any entrepreneur knows that the first few weeks and months of a brand new venture are the most important. Start-ups need to be able to concentrate on getting themselves up and running – making contacts, building awareness, and crucially, getting that first sale.

“That’s why our vision is to create a generation of start-up entrepreneurs who are in the best possible shape to build up their ventures. In today’s digitally-driven, global economy, you simply can’t run a business without a reliable internet connection. By teaming up with Virgin Media Business, we’re giving our start-ups that much-needed competitive edge. Many of the start-ups work with huge files, video, graphics and apps that need the support of quick upload and download speeds. Virgin Media Business is giving us just that and putting our start-ups in a position where they can compete on a level playing field with much larger competitors.”
One company that knows better than most about the integral role that business accelerators play in helping start-ups get off the ground running is former Entrepreneurial Spark® company, Mallzee. The online retail company was created by Cally Russell who is part of the Virgin Media Pioneers community of young entrepreneurs. He recently spoke at Industrial Revolution 3.0, an event organised by Virgin Media Business, in Edinburgh to discuss Scotland’s digital economic opportunities.
Cally Russell, founder and CEO, Mallzee, said: “Working with Entrepreneurial Spark® really helped us grow our business. They provided us with a solid basis to create an exciting company in Scotland. Their role shouldn't be underestimated as they really do help early stage companies start on the right foot."
Tony Grace, managing director, Virgin Media Business, said: “The launch of Entrepreneurial Spark’s® brand new incubator in Edinburgh couldn’t have come at a better time for the Scottish capital.” It’s initiatives like Entrepreneurial Spark® that are helping to enable a better Scotland by creating an environment where innovation can thrive, and we’re exceptionally proud to be part of that. By giving Edinburgh’s talented and ambitious start-ups access to superfast connectivity, we’re helping them to unlock their potential ensuring that they can grow their ventures and inject prosperity into the local economy to the benefit of all Scottish citizens.”

- ENDS -

Media Contacts
John Brown, Speed Communications
020 7842 3273, john.brown@speedcomms.com
Sara Doggett, Virgin Media Business
07813 674230, sara.doggett@virginmedia.co.uk

About Virgin Media Business
Virgin Media Business is the largest business-to-business Virgin brand and part of the Virgin Media group, the UK’s first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services. The division prides itself on delivering innovative, high quality solutions that break down the barriers facing UK organisations today.
Businesses and public sector organisations around the country are using the Virgin Media Business network and skilled service teams to deliver far more than just high speed connectivity.
Staff are located at 40 offices across the country, meaning Virgin Media Business really is closer to its customers. Organisations working with Virgin Media Business include Knight Frank, Telefonica, London Grid for Learning, Hampshire Fire and Rescue and Cambridge County Council.

It has the UK’s only nationwide fibre optic network, carrying 35 per cent of all business broadband traffic and is already able to reach 85 per cent of businesses in the UK.

Virgin Media is a part of Liberty Global plc, the world’s largest international cable company. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 25 million customers across 14 countries, helping connect people to the digital world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless possibilities.

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