Careers Service

North East Start-up Community

About

Find out more about the opportunities and support that you can access by becoming part of the start-up community in Newcastle.

On these pages you will find information about what is on offer for students and graduates in Newcastle at any stage of their start-up, from exploring ideas to finding office space and accessing funding. 

  • Workspace & Acceleratorsco-working and incubation spaces in Newcastle where you can work with like-minded people and access specialist support
  • Networks & Socials - networks and events where you can make new connections to drive your idea or business forward
  • Creatives arts and cultural support organisations and creative spaces in the city
  • More Helpgeneral sources of support to help you get your business off the ground

Workspace & Accelerators

There are a number of co-working and incubation spaces in Newcastle where you can work with like-minded people and access specialist support.

Ignite

Where: Campus North, Newcastle.

Services provided: 3 month pre-accelerator for idea-stage founders and a funded 6 month accelerator for MVP (minimum viable product) stage founders or teams, looking to scale their business and potentially raise further investment.

Perfect for: start-ups with a focus on ageing or big data, however all technology-related start-ups are considered.

Stage it’s used at: founders from an idea stage through to series A funding.

What makes it stand out: Ignite’s focus on big data and ageing mean their network of contacts is a significant advantage to those working there.

Website: https://www.ignite.io/

NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator

Where: Quayside, Newcastle.

Services provided: pre-accelerator, accelerator and Fintech Accelerator programmes.

Perfect for: pre-launch start-ups looking to gain knowledge about the start-up world and growing businesses looking to scale. NatWest also runs a ‘Fintech Accelerator’, for businesses rooted in financial technology.

Stage it’s used at: pre-accelerator and accelerator.

What makes it stand out: NatWest provides all the funding without taking equity. Your business can also progress through their six-month programme three times (18 months in total).

Website: https://www.business.natwest.com/business/business-banking/services/entrepreneur-accelerator.html

Newcastle Helix

Where: The Core, St James Boulevard.

Services provided: a research and innovation eco-system bringing world-class technology researchers, buzzing start-ups and international brands together on one site and actively helping them collaborate to bring brilliant innovations to the marketplace.

Perfect for: start-ups with a focus on data science, urban science and life science.

Stage it’s used at: new and established businesses looking to innovate and collaborate.

What makes it stand out:  It is a global hub for innovation and home to two National Innovation Centres for data and ageing. You won’t find a more concentrated vision of the future anywhere else. Everything from its offices to its car park has been built with a vision of the long-term future in mind.

Website: https://newcastlehelix.com/

Northern Design Centre

Where: Gateshead Baltic Quarter.

Services provided: state-of-the-art audio-visual systems.

Perfect for: creative and design-led businesses.

Stage it’s used at: multiple stages, from creation to fruition of creative ideas.

What makes it stand out: NDC is part of Design Network North (DNN), which is based on-site.

Website: https://www.northerndesigncentre.com/

PROTO

Where: Gateshead Baltic Quarter.

Services provided:  3D character capture, film & TV studio, immersive lab, motion capture stage, sound recording and event space.

Perfect for: tech and creative businesses that are looking to launch or grow their businesses using cutting edge technology.

Stage it’s used at: launch and growth.

What makes it stand out: PROTO has a room that uses 120 cameras to shoot 3D images of bodies to create photorealistic digital characters for games and immersive experiences.

Website: https://www.proto.co.uk/

Sunderland Software City

Where: Tavistock Place, Sunderland.

Services provided: business support to aspiring and established software businesses in the region; skills and education and training.

Perfect for: start-ups looking for specialised business support.

Stage it’s used at: start-ups and established SMEs.

What makes it stand out: Software City also provide a course called Go Reboot, which is a tailored, fast-track programme which is aimed at people looking to break into a career in the digital industry.

Website: https://www.sunderlandsoftwarecity.com/

TusPark Newcastle Barclays Eagle Lab

Where: Grainger Street.

Services provided: in-house ‘maker space’ with technologies such as digital fabrication, 3D printing and laser cutting, giving businesses access to the tools they need for rapid prototyping.

Perfect for: start-ups aiming to connect and collaborate with other entrepreneurs.

Stage it’s used at: pre-launch incubation.

What makes it stand out: TusPark helps UK start-ups access the Chinese market through its unique innovation ecosystem.

Website: https://www.tuspark.co.uk

 

 

Creatives

The region’s creative scene is thriving; here are just a few of the many arts and cultural support organisations and creative spaces in the city.

Ampersand Inventions

Where: Commercial Union House.

Services provided: Ampersand provide a multi-functional space that provides a creative and supportive environment for artists, designers, creatives, entrepreneurs, experimental and participatory events and charities.

Perfect for: creatives and entrepreneurs that require a space to let creativity flow.

Stage it’s used at: there is no defined stage - suitable for creatives at any stage looking for a space to work.

What makes it stand out: 

Ampersand creates an environment which is the uniqueness of each project currently working in Ampersand creates an environment like no other, one designed to hone the best creativity the area provides.

Website: https://www.ampersandinventions.com/

The NewBridge Project

Where: Carliol House.

Services provided: NewBridge provide platforms for audiences to engage with the creative process while nurturing artistic and curatorial practice.

Perfect for: artists and creatives looking for a space to develop within.

Stage it’s used at: there is no defined stage - suitable for creatives at any stage looking for a space to work.

What makes it stand out: with nine years of experience, the NewBridge Project has become a vibrant hub which supports the creation of new and pioneering contemporary art practice.

Website: https://thenewbridgeproject.com/

Networks & Socials

Joining a network or attending a social event will give you the opportunity to make new connections to drive your idea or business forward.

Networks

Digital Union

What it is: Digital Union is the largest collective of creative and digital businesses operating in the North East of England.

Why use it: DU supports all its members in engaging with wider audiences in the UK and abroad by raising their profiles through national media strategies to highlight successes.

What they do: They run regular workshops, seminars and networking events throughout the year.

Their aim: DU aims to bridge the gap between digital, creative, tech and education sectors by working collaboratively with further and higher education institutions to boost engagement and retention of talent in the North East.

Website: https://generator.org.uk/services/digital-union/

FIRST Network

What it is: online events resource and networking event management consultancy. Enterprise skill development through workshops, networking events, competitions and business accelerator programmes. A youth-led matching service connecting 14 – 30-year olds to work placements, jobs, training and qualifications.

Perfect for: young people, students and graduates looking for work experience.

Stage it’s used at: individuals looking to gain some experience before moving into the world of work.

What makes it stand out: FIRST have built a team of experts that are there to help individuals develop the skills of young people.

Website: https://firstnetwork.co/

Socials

Founder’s Friday

What it is: Founder’s Friday is a monthly meet-up which provides a platform for new, existing and potential business start-up founders in the North East to come together with members of the wider business community to share knowledge, insights and support.

The speakers: speakers change each month but are regularly made up of individuals that have launched a product or service in the North.

Where: TusPark Newcastle Eagle Labs

When: The last Friday of every month.

Website: https://plandigitaluk.com/category/founders-friday/

 

Annual Events

There are a number of annual start-up events and conferences that are held in Newcastle.

Thinking Digital Conference

What is it: the Thinking Digital Conference is a two-day conference with 500 of the UK’s brightest minds coming together to hold thought-provoking talks and workshops designed to inspire and enlighten.

The speakers: there are multiple speakers in many different areas of tech throughout the event. Highlights include leaders in disruptive technology such as Dan Lyons and VR designers from Facebook’s team like Michelle Cortese.

Where: The Sage, Gateshead

Website: https://thinkingdigital.co.uk/

Startup Safari

What is it: Startup Safari is a 3-day conference that enables you to learn from the very best in fields such as immersive technology and life and health sciences.

Who’s it for: with 20+ start-ups showcasing their products, its perfect for jobseekers aiming to gain employment with a start-up. With over twenty workshops its also ideal for people aiming to improve their skills before they enter the world of work.

Where: Newcastle and Gateshead.

Website: https://ne.startupsafari.com/

Newcastle Startup Week

What is it: Newcastle Startup Week is an annual 5-day (and night) festival for entrepreneurs & business leaders that takes place in multiple venues across Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead in May. It follows a different theme each day, starting with ‘Inspiration’ on day 1, through to the ‘Scaleup Summit’ and ‘Keep Going’ at the end.

The speakers: the week contains many speakers, with highlights including the UK’s #1 motivational speaker Brad Burton and Social Chain CEO Steven Bartlett.

Where: various locations around Newcastle’s City Centre

Website: https://newcastlestartupweek.com/

More Help

The region has a thriving start-up scene, here are some general sources of support to help you get your business off the ground.

North East Growth Hub

Services provided: the North East Growth Hub centralises all areas of support in the North, creating a simple go-to guide that puts you in the right direction. This support comes in the form of business support, mentoring, procurement and exporting.

Perfect for: any individual or organisation looking to track down a service to help them develop their business.

Stage it’s used at: development and scale-up.

Website: https://www.northeastgrowthhub.co.uk/