DRAGON’s Den winner Imran Hakim – the man behind the i-teddy – says entrepreneurs and universities are made for each other.
The Bolton-based creator of the i-teddy phenomenon, now sold in 45 countries, was visiting MMU’s Innospace graduate incubator to speak to directors of some of the 100 new business start-ups.
Imran, 31, said: "It is vital that universities help entrepreneurs to succeed. In the current climate it is more important then ever to have collaboration between academia and the world of private business. We are very lucky to see that this is happening in Manchester through facilities like Innospace."
Innospace celebrates its birthday on Friday (2 October) to mark two years of success in supporting new business start-ups in Manchester, with a free networking event and prizes for the top-performing new businesses.
During a speech at the MMU/Pro Manchester event, Hakin challenged London’s dominance in start up businesses and entrepreneurial adventure: "The northwest is a great place to be for any entrepreneur. I enjoy the entrepreneurial scene here in the northwest far more then I do in London."
And as the recession bites deeper, universities can help more entrepreneurs make that leap of faith and support them when they start.
Innospace provides a great opportunity to work and network with other individuals who are at an early stage with their businesses, who can help students and non students alike find the answers they need for their business in a safe environment of learning which helps the entrepreneur in the first vital months.
The incubator, in Manchester city centre, offers graduate-level entrepreneurs of any age, cheap office space and access to financial services, seed funds and venture capital, legal services and professional consultancy support.
Innospace is based at Minshull House 47 Chorlton St, Manchester, M1 3FY. Contact Richard Deighton on 0161 247 3850