High street bank NatWest is launching the next location of its business incubation programme at a West Midlands university for the first time.
The ‘Accelerator’ scheme is currently run at 11 different locations across the country including at the bank’s offices on the Brindleyplace estate in Birmingham.
It has now partnered with University of Warwick to launch its 12th site which will welcome 40 new and growing businesses on its first intake from January, with ten places reserved for students at the university.
It will aim to support and empower students, entrepreneurs and local business owners to grow their ideas into a marketable and sustainable company.
Based in Warwick’s new innovation hub called Junction, this is the first time NatWest has opened an Accelerator programme at a UK university which will offer mentoring, advice and networking opportunities with business leaders.
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There will also be specific offerings for high growth, fintech and purpose-led businesses alongside a climate accelerator designed to help green businesses to grow and scale.
NatWest said that its Birmingham hub had supported 182 businesses so far during 2021 with a combined total turnover of £3.6 million.
The university’s vice-chancellor Stuart Croft said: “Warwick’s ‘Excellence with Purpose’ strategy commits us to making our region a better place for those who study, live and work here and to ensuring we create a more sustainable world for future generations.
“This new collaboration with NatWest is very exciting because it means we will support more local entrepreneurs to build their futures, contribute to our regional and national economy and address major challenges facing society at a local level.
“This new hub is an important and exciting new addition to our existing business innovation, accelerator and incubator programmes, offered to local entrepreneurs, companies and students, delivered through our innovation district.”
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Andrew Harrison, managing director of business banking at NatWest, added: “We are incredibly excited to be collaborating with the University of Warwick and supporting the wider regional business ecosystem through the new hub.
“We know there are some amazing businesses that will benefit from the specialist support on offer and we look forward to working with the university as we create a vibrant enterprise hub to support businesses.”