PLMR Advent supporting Ignite Alumni Network

PLMR Advent is supporting a new network that is bringing together companies that have benefitted from a business incubator over the past decade and a half.

The University of Warwick Science Park’s Ignite programme has helped more than 700 companies to establish themselves over the past 15 years, including offering everything from affordable office space to business support.

The Science Park unveiled the new Ignite Alumni Network programme at its Warwick Innovation Centre to bring together the firms it has helped over the years to share knowledge, issues and stories of their growth.

The new network – a first for Coventry and Warwickshire – will meet three times a year, including a full launch event this September.

It will give successful Ignite ‘graduate’ companies the opportunity to exchange ideas but also to pass on hints and tips to more recently formed businesses that are being supported by the programme.

It is hoped that it will lead to growth in the regional economy as even more firms are able to grow using the support of the network.

PLMR Advent has counted the University of Warwick Science Park as a client for two decades and will be attending Ignite Alumni Network events and offering PR clinics to the network.

Lee Corden, PLMR Advent director, said: “We have worked with the University of Warwick Science Park for over 20 years and has seen first-hand the positive impact it has on individual businesses and on the wider region.

“The Ignite programme has helped so many businesses to get established and then go on to grow and create jobs.

“Over the years, we’ve worked with many of those businesses to help to tell their story and raise their media profile, and we look forward to being part of this exciting new network.”

The Ignite Alumni Network is also being supported by MB Group and Edwards Chartered Accountants.

Dirk Schafer, SME Engagement Lead at the University of Warwick Science Park, introduced the event with a series of impressive statistics on the success of the Ignite programme.

He said: “We established Ignite just over 15 years ago with the aim of helping start-ups to establish themselves and remove some of the barriers they were facing, whether that was office space or accessing support for their business.

“The success of the programme is highlighted by the businesses that have joined the new Ignite Alumni Network and the stories they have to tell.

“And that is backed up by statistical evidence too as 90 per cent of the businesses that were helped by Ignite were still going strong after five years and 69 per cent of the firms were still going from day one of the programme. That is well above the average for start-up survival.

“The idea behind the alumni network is to bring businesses together to share stories, issues, solutions, ideas and knowledge with the aim of supporting them with future growth.

“We are also looking at physical changes to the way we deliver Ignite too and will be creating new business lounges that fit in with the modern forms of hybrid working and offer spaces to collaborate and network.

“We are delighted with the interest we’ve received already in the network and are grateful to our supporters who offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise in communications, recruitment and finance.

“The alumni network is a great way of creating a virtuous circle of businesses who want to support one another and, also, those just starting out in order to help them grow.

“With a changing landscape of business support models, we wanted to be innovative in the way we could help companies to grow and deliver even greater economic growth for the region.”

Pictured: Representatives from the University of Warwick Science Park, the Ignite Alumni and the network sponsors come together for the first meeting

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