Making use of btc

BUSINESSES in Stevenage have seized the opportunity to take advantage of the networking opportunities available at the Business and Technology Centre (btc) on Gunnels Wood Road. The centre has launched an exciting series of open days and networking events

BUSINESSES in Stevenage have seized the opportunity to take advantage of the networking opportunities available at the Business and Technology Centre (btc) on Gunnels Wood Road.

The centre has launched an exciting series of open days and networking events, the most recent being on July 8 when representatives from over 40 local businesses across the region were invited to spend time forging relationships that could have a truly beneficial impact on their businesses.

Chris Pichon, the chief executive of Wenta Innovation that manages the btc, said: "Everyone at the Business and Technology Centre was really pleased with how the event went. We have received feedback that the delegates saw the day as an extremely valuable use of their time.

"Some of the delegates were also looking to expand their businesses or start-up new companies and with Greg Thomas, the innovation co-ordinator, at the event they had a valuable advisory and referral source.


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"In this economic climate I think businesses want to do everything they can to grasp a competitive advantage."

The �7 million extension to the centre opened in April this year and was funded by Stevenage Borough Council, the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and the Local Government Communities Fund.

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The btc has significantly expanded the facilities and services that the centre can provide and now markets itself as being able to offer a complete innovation solution for start-up and existing innovative businesses.

It boasts modern offices, an on-site bistro and superb meeting and conference rooms, incubation services, a pledge to be the hub of enterprise activity in the area and it will promote enterprise and innovation in local schools and colleges through its own programmes and by linking with local education partners.

* Access to on-site innovation advice

* Targeted in-house seminars, presentations and training

* Links to specialist agencies and opportunities for technological collaboration

* Business plan reviews

* Advice on funding projects

* Introductions to leading business experts in fields such as academics and business angels

* A Hot Desking facility with a mailbox and call answering services enabling businesses to use office and IT facilities free for a period of three months

* A 'rent free period' of three months after which a nominal charge of �100 per month would be levied up to the maximum incubation support period of one year

* A 'step-up' system allowing incubator clients to progress onto renting available units at preferential rates

* Superb offices available with flexible monthly rental terms

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