Wayra expands accelerator network to turn Manchester into “Shoreditch of the North”

HRH The Duke of York talking to new startup founders at a recent Wayra Academy day

Wayra UK, part of the Telefónica network, has announced a new start-up accelerator is to launch in Manchester.

Wayra is partnering with Oldham council to open a ‘Digital Enterprise Hub’ in Oldham which it hopes will “decentralise digital innovation” and attract aspiring start-ups to the Greater Manchester area to create a “Shoreditch of the North”.

The enterprise hub will house up to 10 tech businessesand offer affordable, flexible workspace and equipment.

The chosen start-ups will also be able to access Wayra’s acceleration services alongside advice from its network of investors, mentors and experts. Wayra will also provide seed funding to selected start-ups “that show promise.”

Speaking about the launch Councillor Jean Stretton, Oldham Council’s deputy leader, said: “These are exciting plans that could create a fantastic focal point in Oldham where small and medium enterprises, micro-businesses and people with great concepts can all innovate, grow and collaborate together.”

“Alongside packages of flexible workspace, mentoring and business support, Wayra UK also invests seed funding into start-up businesses that can show they have the vision and people needed to turn bright ideas into something that can become a big success.”

Gary Stewart, director at Wayra UK, added: “The Greater Manchester area has the scale, influence and talent required to incubate a large start-up eco-system.”