26th April 2013, 9:35am
Open day for entrepreneurs as Sparkhouse celebrates 10 years
Business presentation The University of Lincoln's business incubation centre, Sparkhouse, is celebrating 10 years of supporting business start-ups in the region with a free event aimed at local companies and entrepreneurs.

Since it opened in 2003 on the University's main Brayford Pool campus, Sparkhouse has helped more than 230 start-up businesses find their feet, creating more than 370 high skilled new jobs. Tenants based at the centre have contributed more than 2m into the local economy.

As part of its anniversary celebrations, the centre will be holding an open day on Tuesday 30th April 2013 for businesses in the region to learn more about the centre and the services it can offer. The event is open to entrepreneurs wanting to make new connections, or people thinking about starting a company to learn more about the University's support to businesses.

Sparkhouse is the University of Lincoln's business incubation hub, providing physical space and the support new businesses need to grow and become a success.  It provides business mentoring, workshops and informal advice and space.

New creative, innovative and technology-based businesses of all kinds can rent office space within Sparkhouse. They benefit from stepped, inclusive rental rates which cover essentials like telephones, heating, electricity and Internet. Current tenants include software developers, graphic design agencies, online and broadcast news media, marketing and branding specialists, and film-makers and photographers.

Andrew Stevenson, Director of Research & Enterprise at the University of Lincoln, said:  "The first 10 years of Sparkhouse have been a huge success story. We have provided an environment where innovative ideas can take root and grow into successful businesses which serve as a catalyst for local economic growth.
"Sparkhouse is a gateway for businesses of all sectors and sizes to access the talent and expertise we have here at the University. That could be finding the right graduate to fill a particular vacancy, or commissioning research from our world-class academics."

Sparkhouse's open day runs from 11.30am-7pm on Tuesday 30th April 2013. It includes sessions on marketing and search engine optimisation, as well as networking opportunities and presentations. People interested in attending should contact Lauren Baillie at the University of Lincoln on lbaillie@lincoln.ac.uk
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