Inspiring, innovative and supportive, Barclays is on a quest to transform the UK to help make it the best place to start and grow businesses by promoting creativity and entrepreneurship. If there’s one thing we know about Manchester, it’s that where we lead, the rest will follow, and that’s why we believe that the Eagle Labs have found the perfect abode for their flagship store.
Eagle Labs are supporting the transformation of businesses, no matter their size, by taking a guided-hand approach to their members and offering them as much help as they can provide. Whether it’s holding networking events, or putting an Eagle Lab member in touch with the right contact for them, Barclays Eagle Labs create a broad range of opportunities.
With twenty-two Eagle Labs all over the UK, and even more in the pipeline, their mission is to provide high-potential businesses with the services they need to advance and develop. By taking over an under-utilised Barclays branch in Cambridge, the Eagle Labs opened their first Lab in 2015 and converted the space into a thriving ‘business incubator’ – helping new and start-up companies in the area to develop by providing helpful services, such as management training or office space.
Since, they’ve expanded across the country and into the North West, opening the Salford Lab in MediaCity in 2016, which was swiftly followed by the launch of their flagship space right in the heart of Manchester City Centre last autumn. With over 90% space occupancy within their first 6 months, the space has already been a phenomenal success.
Located across the way from Albert Square and opposite our iconic Manchester Town Hall, we headed down to explore the space and to learn about all of the inspiring ways in which the team are helping Manchester’s entrepreneurs to scale and grow their businesses on the ground.
With 24/7 site access and a range of support services, such as mentors and potential funding opportunities, Barclays Eagle Lab Manchester also provides members with an array of benefits, for example, regular networking events, access to a presentation room and auditorium, and unlimited refreshments.
We headed to the Lab to explore the space and learn more about the communities that work there.
We first met Matt, who runs the Lab and helps the teams wherever he can. With a background in business support, and after considering the passion and drive of a business, he’s responsible for nurturing memberships with the view of how the lab can add value to someone’s business.
He heads up the Eagle Lab team, who are on-site to help by sharing their extensive range of committed support services, adding a personal touch and empowering members in every way possible.
With an ever-evolving calendar, the Eagle Lab hosts regular events which are open to all members for free. The public are also always invited to get involved for a small ticketed price, or sometimes for free.
One such monthly event is the free ‘Early Bird Breakfast’, which is the perfect chance for start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs to meet other entrepreneurs in a relaxed and sociable environment. With a smashing breakfast spread (egg, sausage, bacon…bottomless coffee, anyone?), just head to Eagle Labs Manchester from 8.30-9.30am on Thursday 16th May.
Another opportune networking event is set to take place on Thursday 2nd May at 16.30-18.00, where you can join the teams on their monthly networking affair, giving start-ups and anyone from the local business community to meet like-minded professionals.
Paying homage to its Manchester location, Eagle Labs Manchester is adorned with the iconic Manchester bee emblem, reflecting the thriving hub of creative and innovative work that takes place there. With honeycomb privacy-frosting around meeting spaces, and worker bee cushions scattered across an open-plan communal area, the piece de resistance comes in the form of a spectacular ‘Lowrey-esque’ mural, commissioned by street artist Kelzo, especially for the office.
Tapping into exciting business technology of the near future, the Eagle Labs provide an accessible insight to applied science in a friendly and relatable way. To give just one example of how the Labs have potential to change day to day lives, we met with Jerry Krylov, CEO and Co-Founder of The Corner App. He gave us a swift and dynamic demonstration of his technology, exhibiting how his ‘smart boxing tracker’ helps users to focus their training and hit goals faster. Through the power of analytics and data, the Corner App allows users to see all of their workout data at a glance, see what types of punches they’ve thrown around, and review all of their goals, speed and punch counts.
The city that made the computer, broke the enigma code and split the atom, revolutionary Manchester was the voice of votes for women, and we even gave the world pioneering transportation in the form of the globe’s first railway. On this ethos, by creating a flourishing community of prosperous entrepreneurs, we can’t wait to see where the Eagle Labs can take our city.
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