A refurbished 4,500 sq ft workspace has been unveiled at Birmingham Science Park. Designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, the first floor at Venture Way has been re-launched as ‘Tech Tropicana: Where the Wi-Fi is free’.
The six month, £20,000 refurbishment programme has been undertaken as a partnership project between tech start-up Hobzy.com, and Birmingham Science Park’s property and maintenance team. The floorplate now provides six office suites of circa 400 sq ft each, a large communal kitchen area, and a bank of 30 desks in a central, open environment designed for hot-desking. The 2012 Oxygen Accelerator, which commences on 1st October, will be run from Tech Tropicana – the very programme that Hobzy.com successfully graduated from earlier this year.
Alex Major, Co-Founder of Hobzy.com; an online hobby platform with an international client base, said: “Being able to design and create our own workspace at Birmingham Science Park has been a challenging and rewarding labour of love. Tech entrepreneurs work best in a collaborative environment with like-minded people who are all in the same boat. The other essentials are an excellent broadband connection and affordability. Tech Tropicana hits the nail on the button.”
In addition to Hobzy.com, the other tech start-up taking occupation of an office suite at Tech Tropicana from the outset is Whisk; BBC Apprentice finalist Nick Holzherr’s online food shopping business.
Nick Holzherr, Co-Founder of Whisk said: “Being a founding tenant at Tech Tropicana at the Science Park, we really feel like we’re in at the beginning of something amazing. Birmingham’s tech scene is thriving right now, and to have a space that we can call our own, and welcome other emerging tech start-ups into will be great for both Whisk and the city overall. The space has already inspired us – we have installed a big dining table and chairs, so that we can cook for each other in true Whisk spirit.”
Tech Tropicana at Venture Way complements the 4,300 sq ft Entrepreneurs for the Future centre at neighbouring Faraday Wharf – the Science Park’s flagship building, which houses meeting and conference facilities, close to 40 office suites, and one of two Café Resource coffee shops located across the 14 acre Park. Since November 2009, the Entrepreneurs for the Future centre has incubated 58 tech start-ups and created 112 new employees and directors in the process.
Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Birmingham Science Park said: “It has been a positive experience to engage with our entrepreneurs to undertake this refurbishment programme, which is within one of 11 buildings across the Science Park. We want Birmingham’s tech entrepreneurs to have a sense of ownership for what is happening here, and the creation of Tech Tropicana has embraced that head-on.
“We are delighted that intellectual property specialist Marks & Clerk has been the first to snap up a Tech Tropicana sponsorship package. We are keen to talk to other companies about how they can get involved with the project, and indeed other initiatives at Birmingham Science Park.”