Leeds Digital hub provides way for people to collaborate

From left,  Edwin Otta, Simon Edwards, Rob Julian and Ken Muir at work in the Digital Hub offices.
From left, Edwin Otta, Simon Edwards, Rob Julian and Ken Muir at work in the Digital Hub offices.
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LEADERSHIP and loneliness can go hand in hand, regardless of the size of your business.

Truly smart businesses know that they can get ahead by collaborating.

Just ask Liz Cable, a senior lecturer in digital and social media at Leeds Trinity University. She founded Reach Further, which was one of Britain’s first social media consultancies in 2006.

She is a passionate advocate of co-working, in which small firms occupy the same working environment but operate independently. They can, however, soon find that they have a lot in common.

“Co-working shows that you’re not in it alone,’’ said Ms Cable. “People experience the same problems even if they are not in the same sector as you. The killer for any business is a feeling of isolation.”

However, co-working gives you other companies to benchmark yourself against, and share water cooler moments.

It’s no surprise that Ms Cable is a supporter of the Digital Hub, which provides top class work space in the heart of Leeds for fledgling businesses.

The Yorkshire Post is partnering with Leeds Metropolitan University in a scheme that helps new digital companies to achieve their growth potential.

The Digital Hub in Leeds provides flexible city centre office space, mentoring and training services and the opportunity to work with like-minded people in a collaborative environment.

Hub businesses can also benefit from regular exposure in these widely-read business pages. Organisers are looking for early stage, start-up and established companies to join the programme.

The deadline for next applications is July 15.

Steve Baker, a successful software entrepreneur who now works with QU2, the university’s business support service, will provide expert mentoring.

Law firm DWF and accountancy practice WGN will provide professional services and The Yorkshire Post will provide media training.

The first tenants – Immedia, phase90, Snowball Digital, The UK App Company and The Capture Lab – moved in last week. They pitched to a Dragons’ Den-style panel of entrepreneurs and advisers.

Ms Cable has been giving advice to the QU2 team on social media promotions for the new Digital Hub. She hopes members of the hub will grow through collaboration.

In her own career, Ms Cable formed a successful collaboration with the entrepreneur Dee Grismond, which led to the development of an award-winning “eco-chic” wedding portal.

She added: “There’s a new business model emerging around peer-to-peer networking, with a new paradigm like rebuilding
society,com (the Leeds-based peer-to-peer lending platform).”

According to Ms Cable, co-working can bring together people with like-minds who come up with great products.

Potential tenants are invited to apply for the Digital Hub scheme before July 15.

Please visit www.leedsmet.ac.uk/digital-hub and follow the instructions.

MAKING YOUR OWN CAREER BY TAKING CONTROL

THE growth in social media brings opportunities that would have been unheard of a decade ago.

For example, Liz Cable, a senior lecturer in social media at Leeds Trinity University, has been approached by CAFOD, the official Catholic aid agency for England and Wales, to help them develop ideas for an app for Lent.

Ms Cable, who is a trainer, online community designer and speaker, added: “We need to encourage more people to think of their careers as their own and take control of their lives.”

The Digital Hub in Leeds provides self-motivated entrepreneurs with the opportunity to blossom in a stiumulating environment, where they can mix with kindred spirits.