A part-time business incubation lecturer at the University of Winchester has launched a business centre venture, IncuHive, on the Chandler’s Ford Industrial Estate, near Eastleigh in Hampshire.
Steve Northam’s venture offers local start-up businesses easy access to office space, hot desks, an onsite café, a photography studio, mentoring services and investment. Currently, it has attracted a wide variety of student and alumni start-ups ranging from a company offering video and media production services to a gym clothing business, an events promotion firm and a YouTube video blogger.
Councillor Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport & environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “I am thrilled to see the realisation of IncuHive’s recently-launched business centre which provides a great resource for entrepreneurs and evidence of the growing opportunities for start-up businesses in Hampshire.”
“Set within a unique environment, ideal for high-tech and creative businesses, IncuHive offers more than just standard workspace. Start-ups based at the centre can access mentoring, investment and essential business services such as accounting, payroll and marketing enabling these exciting businesses to thrive.”
Northam, company director, said: “I have been investing in student start-up businesses for several years now. It’s great to see such potential and determination – I enjoy helping them get their ideas to market and reach their business goals.”
Video and media production company Stolen Images has already benefited from Northam’s interest and experience. “Steve has helped us build our business from zero upwards and we have now moved into IncuHive taking on our own dedicated office space,” explained the company director, who completed his media production degree at the University of Winchester earlier this year. “The resources at Steve’s fingertips are fantastic, from general help and mentoring to investment and solutions – it’s really helped us develop our business.”
Northam is planning networking events at the University to further help students get their business ideas off the ground. He also hopes to set up investment business-proposal pitching sessions based on the format used in the popular BBC television series Dragons’ Den, and is offering free IncuHive places for Winchester students with viable business ideas.