Welsh ICE celebrates start-up success

Caerphilly-based innovation centre Welsh Centre is celebrating after spinning out 10 brand new businesses as part of the 9 to 5 Club.

The 9 to 5 Club is a free evening enterprise course aimed at supporting young businesses through the stages of developing their ideas and setting up.

It’s now looking for the next cohort of business minds. Funded by the Fairwood Trust, sessions will run every Thursday night from 9 till 10 pm, and will run for 12 weeks.

There’ll be specialist mentors, workshops and industry experts on hand who’ll offer support to the businesses. Advice covers areas such as marketing, project development and finance.

Katherine Parker, a member of the first cohort, said: “A few weeks into the 5-9 club, my confidence began to grow with the knowledge that I could actually become a full time artist.

“I had not only the support from Welsh ICE, but from my group of fellow entrepreneurs. It is an amazing place to work from and oozes positivity.”

Katherine, along with other members, completed the 12-week course by presenting to a panel of judges in April. They shared their experiences of the course and their journeys.

Speaking as one of the judges after the presentation evening, Welsh ICE COO Mandy Weston said: “I was blown away by the high standard and diversity of the business ideas presented.

“It was clear that the groups across both cohorts had built a strong camaraderie and will go on to support each other in future endeavours.”

Gareth Jones, CEO of Welsh ICE, added: “After two successful cohorts, we are excited to be launching our third 5 to 9 Club. There are so many great business ideas out there waiting to be launched and it’s wonderful that Welsh ICE and the Fairwood Trust can support their inception and development.”

The closing date for the third round of applications for the Welsh ICE 5 to 9 Club is May 25th.