Liverpool can forge a reputation as the UK’s ‘start-up city’.
That’s the belief of a London-based business incubator which was head-hunted by a Manchester developer to spearhead its £6m Liverpool city centre scheme.
Launch22 was founded in Shoreditch, but was persuaded by Capital & Centric to become the first tenant in its Tempest building on Tithebarn Street, providing 35,000 sq ft of “quirky” office space aimed at entrepreneurs.
Liverpool-born Matthew Kennedy is Launch22’s office manager and is determined to help as many start-ups as possible.
Their offer includes co-working space for 60 individuals, as well as desk clusters for teams taking their next evolutionary step.
A 1,500 sq ft event space is available free for fledgling firms to make use of, as well as an impressive rooftop garden space.
Terms range from £120 a month for 12-hour full-time access to office space and mentors every day, a £60 part-time package, and a scholarship scheme aimed at anyone from a disadvantaged background.
The venture is backed by national charity Catch22 and is its first outside London. Matthew said: “Liverpool was considered the perfect place to put our model in to.
“Just like Manchester has branded itself as the ‘media city’, Liverpool can be the ‘start-up city’.
“It has a low cost of start-up, and a high quality of land, the perfect place for businesses to grow.
“We have a global brand in Liverpool, and over recent years we have developed a Liverpolitan way of life. We have quality at a relatively low cost and in terms of quality of life outside London, this is the perfect place.
“Manchester presents itself at the centre of the Northern Powerhouse - but we can be a part of that.”
He said the city also has many positives on so many levels: “Liverpool has learned from its failures in the past, and that is vital for entrepreneurs as well. There’s a lot of things going for Liverpool right now politically, in terms of a pro-business mayor, and the initiatives that are popping up.
“It has drive and passion that are the characteristics an entrepreneur needs to succeed.”
He added: “A lot of places are tech-focused, but we’re not. We are looking to help anyone set up a business.
“Come to our events and learn how best to use social media or ask stupid questions, or questions you might have thought were stupid.”
Launch22 officially opens on August 3, and is offering its services free for the month.