A new lab dedicated to supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs has been launched at De Montfort University’s Innovation Centre.
The Barclays Eagle Lab is the first of its kind in the East Midlands, and aims to support the region’s start-up ecosystem.
The new lab is one of 34 that comprise a network of co-working spaces across the UK. The lab will connect emerging businesses with mentors, training and offers, while also establishing a peer network to support start-ups.
Ecosystem manager Poonam Sharma will be leading the new Leicester Barclays Eagle Lab. Sharma has experience working as part of the Barclays team in Leicester and has strong connections with the local business community.
“It is great to be in partnership with DMU and I am excited to engage with businesses and the community as we work together to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Leicester,” said Poonam Sharma. “There is so much potential in the East Midlands but I know there are challenges too. We want to work with start-ups to help them scale, but also established businesses and high growth companies to take them to the next level.”
A launch event at DMU’s Innovation Centre was attended by representatives from Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, Leicester Asian Business Association and Leicester City Council, as well as by staff from Barclays and DMU.
“I think the fact that Barclays chose Leicester and DMU to be the base for its work in the East Midlands speaks volumes about the confidence and potential that exists within our business community,” said DMU Vice-Chancellor Katie Normington. “Leicester is already one of the best cities in which to be an entrepreneur, with one of the highest start-up rates of any UK city. This entrepreneurial spirit is something we nurture at DMU.”