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Exchange tech support programme to launch in Leeds


Exchange, the tech scale-up support programme that has already hosted four successful cohorts in Manchester, is launching in Leeds.

Applications are open now to support the next generation of Yorkshire tech businesses, with the first cohort set to launch at Department Leeds Dock in April.

Over the four cohorts in Manchester, Exchange has supported more than 450 people from over 102 tech businesses, creating over 140 jobs and raising more than £11m in funding. It is now setting its sights on achieving the same successes on the other side of the Pennines.

Exchange offers ambitious companies the opportunity to establish themselves in the desirable Leeds Dock district and tap into the talent, infrastructure, and amenities the area offers. It is already home to leaders in the field with Sky Digital, Channel 4 and Journey Further calling Leeds Dock their home.

Alongside a hot desk membership in Department’s workspace, Exchange also provides support from industry experts, workshops, funding opportunities, and a community of likeminded entrepreneurs.

Partners of the scheme span industries that an early-stage business often requires, including investment, legal, hiring and marketing. Exchange partners already confirmed include CRSI, Investor Ladder, Praetura Ventures and Clarion solicitors.

With over 49,000 people working in tech start-ups across Leeds, the scheme is now calling on innovative founders and businesses to apply for its first cohort in the city – applications close on 28th February.

Alice Pickersgill, community outreach lead at Exchange, said: “Exchange has accelerated many successful start-ups on their growth journeys, and we want to help even more entrepreneurs achieve their full potential. Leeds made for an obvious location to expand the Exchange scheme as one of the UK’s fastest-growing tech cities. Given the scale of the tech industry in the city, it’s a great place to continue building a platform for tech businesses in the North to succeed. We encourage any tech start-up that is founded on passion and innovation to come and take advantage of the Exchange offering.”

The ever-growing community of Exchange alumni includes Pixel Max, a 3D virtual workplace tech business which raised more than £2 million while it was an Exchange member (and went on to scale within Department’s workspace), Versori who recently won a place and funding from Y-Combinator, and Sparkbox, a retail AI and data solutions provider.

Lindsay Fisher, co-founder at Sparkbox, commented: “Joining Exchange should be a no-brainer for anyone wanting to take their start-up to the next level. The value of your network should never be underestimated when building a business. Our time on Exchange stands out as real catalyst for expanding our network with investors, partners, and other founders in the north of England.”

Department Leeds Dock will be launching on Thursday, February 16 with a showcase of the brand-new workspace, where attendees can experience ‘Department For A Day’. More information about the launches of both Department Leeds and Exchange Leeds can be found on the Department UK website.

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