GymShark set to lift Birmingham’s digital tech SMEs
Collaboration with Innovation Birmingham aims to provide small tech businesses with industry support
Midlands-based sports fitness clothing brand Gymshark will launch its next phase of business support for digital tech SMEs innovating in the West Midlands.
Building on its partnership with Innovation Birmingham, the UK’s largest campus for digital technology businesses, Gymshark has recently reopened the doors to its business support centre as the brand aims to connect with innovators.
Hosted at Innovation Birmingham’s iCentrum building, the #LiftYourBusiness incubator aims to drive growth and opportunity for tech SMEs through a structured programme of mentoring
They will provide businesses with the opportunity to access Gymshark’s global network and learn from the expertise and infrastructure of a brand that ships to over 180 countries across the world.
“We’ve been extremely encouraged by the partnership with Innovation Birmingham, and it’s enabled us to give something back to the area that we call home,” said Adam Harrison, head of special projects at Gymshark. “High levels of interest were shown for the first programme and over the last six months we’ve highlighted why there was such competition for places. Bringing the region’s brightest innovators together in one place has highlighted the collaborative commercial and social relationships that this can trigger.”
LiftYourBusiness supported eight SMEs in the first cohort launched in August 2018, providing regular interaction with Gymshark experts and Innovation Birmingham advisors, free space, and access to the wider sports clothing industry.
Ben Francis began Gymshark in 2012 by printing t-shirts in his parent’s garage, with the brand now operating 11 online stores across the world.
Katharine Fuller, head of business support at Innovation Birmingham, said: “In the six months that we’ve been working with Gymshark we’ve seen first-hand how a partnership between an innovation specialist and a sector leader can result in fantastic opportunities for SMEs. This platform of support has been launched at a great time for Birmingham, especially considering global attractions like the Commonwealth Games 2022, which will present opportunities for tech SMEs to implement their innovations. The #LiftYourBusiness incubator offers a great chance for entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow. We’re looking forward to welcoming the new cohort of businesses and supporting them with disrupting markets, raising investment, recruiting, growing and succeeding in the tech landscape.”
The #LiftYourBusiness programme sits within the Serendip Smart City Incubator at Innovation Birmingham and will be accepting applications from tech SMEs up until 11th April.