Ann Darby The Landing

MediaCityUK’s The Landing has announced the departure of senior director Ann Darby. But she won’t be going far – Darby is setting up her own consultancy within the same digital enterprise hub.

Darby had been a key member of The Landing’s senior management team since its inception in 2012. As strategic partnerships director, her primary role was to support The Landing’s 100+ tenant companies and freelancers, the hub’s specialist technical operators and numerous industry partners.

She also played a major part in organising and delivering networking events, training sessions and industry seminars for a wide range of companies across the North West, nationally and internationally.

Now with new company The Bridge, Darby will continue to work with digital start-ups, creative micro-businesses and technical SMEs similar to those she managed while at The Landing.

She said of her new venture: “After nearly three years at The Landing I developed a very good understanding of the needs and challenges faced by emerging companies working in the digital, technical and creative sectors. From this experience I discovered there was huge potential for a dynamic ideas accelerator which can help stimulate new businesses, and re-invent existing ones, at pace.

“With The Bridge I aim to help firms turn amazing concepts into reality and maximise ideas with high growth potential. We will also be different from other innovation accelerators because it will put the customer first, developing products and services in response to a clearly defined market requirement with a very strong emphasis on the end user experience.

“Coupled with brokering access to a thriving investor network I believe The Bridge fills a vital gap in the market in the North West and beyond.”

In addition to offering services to small businesses via The Bridge, Darby has also been given a specific business development remit by Interactive Media UX (IMUX), the company which currently operates The Landing’s SPACE UX Labs on its 6th floor.

The SPACE Labs are some of the most sophisticated user-experience (UX) facilities in the UK and are currently used by many leading brands, developers and manufacturers who road test hardware and software via four usability labs, eye-tracking facilities, a 10-Bay Social Gaming Test Suite, analogue and fibre connectivity and other monitored UX testing facilities.