Technology

Barclays Launches 'Eagle Labs' For Fast-Growth Start-ups

Barclays Bank is inviting start-ups and sole traders to build their digital and business skills through the launch of its Eagle Labs, which the bank says will encourage innovation in the future of fast growth sectors.

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Barclays Bank is inviting start-ups and sole traders to build their digital and business skills through the launch of its Eagle Labs, which the bank says will encourage innovation in the future of fast growth sectors.

Technology

Barclays Launches 'Eagle Labs' For Fast-Growth Start-ups

Barclays Bank is inviting start-ups and sole traders to build their digital and business skills through the launch of its Eagle Labs, which the bank says will encourage innovation in the future of fast growth sectors.

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The bank says the new Eagle Labs will provide access to resources including mentoring, event space, 3D printers and laser cutters - aimed at the UK’s start-up and scale-up communities.

It is announcing plans to open up to 20 Eagle Labs this year as part of its wider roll out across the UK, including in Birmingham and Huddersfield. There are currently four Labs: two in Cambridge and one each in Brighton and Bournemouth.

The spaces will be designed around the needs of local entrepreneurs, businesses and communities and tailored to suit regional economic strength in specific industries, according to Barclays. The Labs will be supported by Barclays’ 'Digital Eagles' - a team of experts with the job of helping people do more online.

The Labs have two main offerings, specifically:

Incubators will specifically target high-growth firms and entrepreneurs who are projecting 20 per cent growth or more, giving fast growing businesses the space and resources to help them succeed. They will benefit from collaborating with other  business, and mentoring from Barclays executives.

MakerSpaces will offer access to 3D printers and laser cutters. This means businesses will have access to the tools they need to produce and test prototypes without having to import from overseas, and can reduce the time and cost taken from concept to market.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK announced the national launch of Eagle Labs at a visit to the Brighton Eagle Lab. He said: “Technology is transforming the speed at which start-ups can grow and scale. Simply having access to a 3D printer can now help people turn a clever idea into a business success overnight, and by providing practical resources alongside our financial expertise we intend to help people succeed.”

The latest Barclays and BGF Entrepreneurs Index revealed the number of start-ups is at its highest in three years, up 3.86% nationally in the first half of 2015. But the number of high-growth businesses declined, with the index authors concluding more must be done to support growing businesses thrive and survive.

Vaswani said: “The Barclays Eagle Labs will take our relationship with local entrepreneurs one step further, providing them with access to the tools and resources that will help them accelerate growth.”

Also at the launch was digital economy minister Ed Vaizey. He said: "The digital economy is moving at a tremendous pace - digital industries are growing at a rate of 32 per cent faster than the wider economy, and contribute around £161bn a year for the UK.

"The need for digital skills has never been greater, and Barclay's Eagle Labs is a fantastic initiative that offers incredibly helpful guidance, support and advice to local communities and businesses.”

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Barclays Launches 'Eagle Labs' For Fast-Growth Start-ups

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