With its Spring 2019 opening drawing closer, the University of Leeds’ new innovation hub, Nexus, has had a strong start to Autumn with a series of new appointments, industry events and an upsurge in occupier and partnership interest.
Nexus has bolstered its team with the appointment of two experienced figures from the worlds of research and innovation. Chelsea Hardy joins from J.P Morgan’s FinTech Team as Engagement Manager and will be responsible for initial liaison with organisations, matching business needs to the University’s research, facilities and talent. Dr Harrison Evans takes on the role of Collaboration Manager, responsible for helping to build relationships with businesses in the Nexus community and connecting them to the right partners within the University and beyond.
Chelsea delivered a presentation at the FinTech North International Trade Mission event in early-November, addressing 20 FinTech scale-ups from the Baltic and Nordic regions. Chelsea highlighted the strengths of the Leeds City Region, particularly in terms of supporting high growth start-up and scale-up companies.
Nexus’ role in helping to nurture entrepreneurial talents and start-ups was highlighted in a new report by Whitecap Consulting, which outlined opportunities to strengthen the Leeds FinTech ecosystem. The report into the Leeds City Region’s FinTech potential has confirmed that the city is laying the foundations for the future, with collaborative hubs and co-working spaces key to the success of start-ups and scale-ups in the sector. It also highlighted the lack of dedicated workspaces in the region and underlined emerging innovation hubs, like Nexus, as an opportunity to bring education and industry together to accelerate business growth.
Based in a brand new £40m building on the University campus, Nexus will feature state-of-the-art facilities including office and lab space, collaboration areas as well as event and meeting facilities. A dedicated team will be responsible for facilitating productive working partnerships and collaborations to connect businesses to the University’s world-class research, facilities and talent giving them a competitive edge in a dynamic market.