Our latest video sees Lisa from Accelerate Places discussing the benefits of doing business in Manchester and her top tips for start-ups.
Lisa Murgatroyd – Accelerate Places
What’s your name, position and where do you work?
My name is Lisa Murgatroyd and I’m the Community Manager at Accelerate Places, Manchester.
Describe your business in one sentence.
Accelerate Places is a co-working growth hub for start-ups and scale-ups. It’s more than just a desk, it’s a place where people can come and work together to succeed.
What separates you from the competition?
The start-up scene in Manchester is really exciting and innovative. We are backed by Blenheim Chalcot, a leading venture builder and so we can offer additional services such as access to legal, tax, finance, HR, recruitment and access to investment which makes us stand out from other co-working spaces in the city.
What have been the highlights of your company so far?
We actually just launched this week so this has been a big deal for us. Coming into the project when it was still in design phase and seeing it through build and up to completion now – it’s been a lot of hard work but it’s really worth it.
What qualities are needed to succeed in your industry?
To succeed in co-working, you need to be open to member feedback. You need to be receptive of what your members are telling you. We also believe in being friendly, engaging and professionally nosey. We want to champion our members so we need to know about any opportunities, their successes and so a good memory also helps!
Why do new businesses choose Manchester?
Manchester is a fantastic city for new businesses. There’s always something going on and a new place to discover whether that’s social or business. I really think that people can benefit from being here.
Who are some local companies you would recommend?
I’d recommend some of our members, of course. We have Due Course who are a fin-tech providing, invoice, financing for small to medium enterprises. We have some great social media companies and marketing agencies such as My Clever Agency and Nut Digital who also have their own crowd-funding platform. We’ve also partnered with local providers Beastro for our cafe. So we had some samples sent over on Monday and they were fantastic.
Who do you think are the most influential people in the local business scene?
There are some obvious names such as Lawrence Jones, who is a strong champion for Manchester and especially for entrepreneurs and growing new businesses here. Within property, I’d say, Chris Oglesby and Mike Ingle. I’m really excited to see the development of the former BBC site on Oxford Road into Circle Square and also XYZ Building launching and the development of St John’s.
But I’m really impressed by Lou Cordwell who is heading up AllBright North which is a funding platform for female entrepreneurs and she also founded Magnetic North which has been running for over 10 years.
Do you have any advice for new businesses in Manchester?
I’d say you need to get out and meet people whether that’s for user feedback, for business advice or just to share your troubles and successes. Grab a drink – we’re a really friendly bunch here in Manchester!
What’s the main benefit of working in Manchester?
There’s lots of great benefits to being in Manchester. Obviously, it’s great for transport links if you need to get down South or even up North. We’re really a kind of hub here in Manchester. But I’d generally say it’s the people. There’s a community here, there’s a real, strong sense of community, especially for small businesses and for start-ups.
Where are your favourite places to eat and drink in Manchester?
I’d say that my favourite places in the Northern Quarter would be the Everlands, it’s a fantastic restaurant. And Beastro have just opened down in Spinningfields, have opened a new restaurant so definitely check that out. To drink, I would say Cosmonaut.
Thank you for watching. I’m Lisa Murgatroyd from Accelerate Places and this is huddled.