'There's nothing like it': New incubator launches in city centre

James Adams of Akcela (inset) on the launch of the company's incubator

James Adams of Akcela (inset) on the launch of the company's incubator - Credit: Akcela

A new incubator aimed at supporting and growing fledgling businesses has been launched in the city centre. 

Akcela, a management consultancy, has launched it's collaborative office space supported by a team of experts at Fuel Studios in Pottergate. 

Their aim is to build a raft of "solid" businesses, as well as pushing some for Unicorn status, which values a start-up company at more than a billion dollars. 

The Akcela team is lead by director James Adams who, having worked for a Fortune 200 company, wanted to share his expertise with smaller founders. 

He said: "There are two things we look for in the businesses we work with. The first is a great idea, where we immediately realise there's a proposition here which has a lot of potential. 

"The second is the person. Sometimes they might not be as clear about what they're working towards or what they want for their business, but they've got a spark and a drive which you can tell is going to get them places."

Already the incubator is working with a handful of businesses. 

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This includes ReadingMate, an app designed to help readers score and measure books, as well as ForestofMemories, which invites people to plant a tree in dedication of a loved one who has died. 

But, Mr Adams said, the aim of the incubator isn't to just back businesses with huge ambition, he said: "There's a lot of unicorns and getting businesses to that stage. 

"But there's nothing wrong with just building some good, solid businesses. Businesses which have a turnover of a few million and provide some reliable but exciting employment for local people."

He added: "I studied here in Norwich and there's so much investment coming into this area - we're up there with the likes of Cambridge. 

"It seemed crazy to me that there wasn't an incubator of this sort in the city centre. There are accelerators and start-up programmes but nothing like this."

In the office will be expert solicitors, marketing gurus and investors, with Mr Adams adding: "We have a policy which means you can't approach another business and try to sell your services. If they ask, you can talk to them, but you can't make an approach."

For more information, visit www.akcela.co.uk/business-incubator-norwich/