In early October 2015, we opened our doors to our first tenant companies. It’s been a rollercoaster of challenges and excitement along the way.Over the first few months our criteria for entry has created challenges – it doesn’t come naturally to send people elsewhere, and as we have empty office space available, it can feel strange to turn new business down. However, we need to remember our role in Croydon’s business ecosystem at all times. Our objective is to help create economic growth and jobs for the region, so we need ambitious companies that are not only able to scale up and grow, but also have a new idea.
While we are selective about the businesses we take on as members, we try to ensure that everyone who comes in to meet with us leaves with an idea of what to do next; either by signposting the way to one of the many other local organisations that is best positioned to help them, or by suggesting new avenues for growth that they might look to explore.
We now have a variety of members who are utilising our support to fulfil their ambitions. Their innovations are sometimes subtle and unexpected, but illustrate the broad range of ways in which a business idea can be innovative and scalable:
QuidCycle: a FinTech company, whose innovation is the disruptive nature of the ethical finance solution they offer. They have already won awards for innovation including Eveline Future 50 and Money Facts as well as Croydon Business Excellence for “Tech Innovation” and are going from strength to strength in our environment.
Heads Above the Cloud: whose 3D scanning, Augmented and Virtual Reality and drone technology is revolutionising the construction industry through immersive experiences. Our sales and marketing advisors have helped to clarify their value proposition and customer segmentation, while the Catalyst team has offered mentoring to support the delivery of social media content by their apprentice.
Return2Play: an innovative web-based system which tracks a player's recovery from injury; links them with specialist medical care and keeps all interested parties informed during the process ensuring that no player returns to play before being deemed fit to do so. Our Catalyst team has conducted a research project to help identify and engage with key individuals in sporting associations, gaining insight about the trends and challenges involved in this area.
3D Change: a social regeneration company that have successfully developed an approach and software to help housing associations connect with local supply chains and job seekers to revolutionise the welfare system. The software tracks monitors and evaluates the outcomes. This approach has the potential to scale on a national level. 3D Change’s strategy has been overhauled since they joined us in January, with the Catalyst team who will be providing communications and marketing services.
RSCPP/Thrivo: a web platform to help people find a qualified therapist, which has developed into a sister app, designed for busy professionals to seek immediate professional support with a life goal or issue. The business has called on our network to help with an extensive market insight and user testing project, before refining branding and messaging across their two products, with a view to rebranding in the near future.
We have lots of space for companies who want to grow and build their new idea. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested in becoming a part of our innovation community.