Supporting the tech & digital industry
The Exchange programme provides support for ambitious tech businesses and empowers them to grow by providing access to the tools and learnings to scale, as well as build a lasting collaborative community of like-minded forward-thinking entrepreneurs. Based in Department Leeds Dock and first established in Enterprise City Manchester, the programme provides a foundation and community for early stage businesses to scale and grow.
Circl is a socially inclusive betting platform for people to use with their friends. At the core of the concept is a unique and innovative game-type which allows users to compete against friends during live sports events to win money. Will Hawkins, CEO of Circl, said: “I want to give a shout-out to Exchange for providing us with the foundations to develop Circl from an idea to a fully-operating business with 1000s of customers. For any Founders that need help growing their business – on top of having a cool co-working space to work & network in – I would 100% recommend applying to this programme..” CIRCL Following an investment of £375,000 in 2021, Circl have recently raised over £400,000 via a Crowdcube campaign which forms part of their plan to raise up to £2m over the next 12 months to enable the business to create and launch two new game experiences with ambitions to launch in the US. To find out more visit: playcircl.com
Sparkbox’s AI and in-depth data solutions help big brand merchandising teams make better stock buying and pricing decisions. Clients include River Island and Matchesfashion. com. They use Sparkbox to forecast demand, optimise their pricing and promotions and plan inventory to reduce waste and the need for big discounts. Its approach to data also has the potential to aid brand sustainability goals by preventing retailers from over-ordering stock. Sparkbox raised £1.5m with Praetura Ventures to double its team and onboard further fashion, home and SPARKBOX seasonal retailers, where deadstock is a constant challenge across the board. The company was co-founded by Forbes 30 Under 30 inductee Lindsay Fisher who relocated to Manchester and joined Exchange “The Exchange program has provided us with a great opportunity to meet other founders at a similar stage in Manchester. It’s been helpful to share ideas and resources with the network and Department has been the perfect hub for our growing business”. To find out more visit: sparkbox.ai
Founded in 2018, PixelMax focus on always-on 3D workplaces, creating an enterprise version of the metaverse. Whilst on the programme, PixelMax raised over £2m and grew from a team of 3 to over 30. Andy Sands, co-founder: “Being Exchange members helped us in so many ways. The progress we made during the year is a testament to the PIXELMAX scheme and the people around it, including the fellow entrepreneurs and the industry expert partners.” Shay O’Carroll, co-founder added: “I haven’t come across anything else in the three years plus we’ve been operating that’s got close to what this has offered us as a business.” He continued “PixelMax’s bespoke 3D virtual workplaces promote engagement and well-being through an interconnected reality that opens up a new world of opportunity. We are excited to work with Exchange to bring the virtual world to life and for PixelMax to create and lead in a new market sector.” To find out more visit: pixelmax.com
We would expect your business to meet one or more of the below criteria:
Exchange runs two cohorts per year; running April to September, and October to March. Our application form remains live year round to register your interest for the next intake. The deadline to apply for the October cohort will be the end of July. The deadline to apply for the April cohort will be the end of January.
Or, scan the QR code to go direct to the application form.
“The Exchange Programme enabled me to be around other entrepreneurs who are on the same journey. This gave me a community to lean on, bounce ideas off and ask for help when I came up against challenges.”
Grace Vella, Miss Kick
“As a first time business owner, the Exchange Programme has been incredible. I have built up an amazing network of inspiring founders, advisors and professionals who have helped me get Umii to where it is today. Each visit to the office offers new learnings. The Exchange community and staff are brilliant – always there to offer support when startup life gets tough and to celebrate the wins! Thanks for having me as part of the cohort.”
Georgia Wheadon, Umii
“The Exchange Programme offers the support that a start up needs to get off the ground. The extensive network and expertise available to you is first -class and the team are more than happy to help.”
Nicola Weedall, Hydr
“I have absolutely LOVED my time on Exchange. It was the perfect way for me to meet new startup founders in the area! The whole Exchange team was amazing and incredibly supportive. I particularly enjoyed gaining access to all of the insightful talks. Every single talk had me completely engaged and was an incredible learning opportunity!”
Harriet Noy, Hazaar
“We would recommend tech founders check out the Exchange. We have found the facilities, people, help and support invaluable to scaling up Financielle. We entered into the programme a team of two and we’ll be graduating a much more professional, ambitious and valuable company than when we first started.”
Holly Holland, Financielle
“Exchange allowed us to build a platform for growth and build our network. We had previously been working from home and felt isolated from the tech space/ world. Being part of this community has had an incredibly positive impact on both our personal development and the growth of Otimo.”
Gavin Boak, Otimo