Innovation Point launches to aid growth of big tech ideas

Innovation Point, a new company aimed at helping innovators find the funding and networks to grow big ideas worldwide, launched yesterday.

Based in Newport, the organisation has been set up to strengthen Wales’s position in the global technology industry, identifying new trends and bringing them to Wales.

A year in the planning, it’s a partnership between the Welsh Government and the private sector to offer expert advice and guidance to Welsh technology businesses.

ESTNet, which is a network body of the industry, claims that the Welsh technology sector is growing rapidly and is currently worth a staggering £8.2 billion to the Welsh economy.

While tech giants like Sony, BT, Airbus and Airbus are making a huge difference, 99 per cent of Wales’s companies are SMEs, and Innovation Point wants to support their growth.

It says it “sits at the heart of the funding community” and “aims to connect scale-ups and start-ups across the country, making it easier to build partnership collaborations with private, public sector and academic partners across the world”.

David Warrender, chief executive of Innovation Point, said: “We’re not short of good ideas in Wales, but where we need to be much better is in making them happen at scale. 

“Our economic future and place in the global economy really does depend on exploiting fully the power of the imagination. Innovation Point exists to answer a real need from tech entrepreneurs who tell us that they find access to funding and partners difficult.

“And they’re right. It is.  That’s why we’re here, to build an environment around our brightest minds and boldest ideas which gives them support and structure in finding the finance and connections which can nurture that idea into a real game-changing innovation.”

Innovation Point is already engaged in the digital and technology sectors in Wales. It’s been working with aircraft maker Airbus as well as a range of SMEs and Cardiff University.

It’s providing its knowledge and expertise to Cardiff University’s Software Academy, which is addressing the nation’s shortage of talented programmers and software engineers.

Simon J. Gibson OBE, chair of Innovation Point, said: “We will be working at the cutting edge of technology development and at the heart of the investment community to match organisations who have the best new, developing and disruptive ideas to the opportunities they need to drive them towards their next stage of growth.

“We’ll also look to lead on solving issues facing the wider technology industry in Wales. Without the links and access to funding that Innovation Point offers, we could have a generation of successful entrepreneurs with technologies with the potential to change global sectors, failing to break through and falling at the early hurdles.

 Image credit: PROBoegh