Cisco opens accelerator in Manchester to help startups scale-up

Cisco and Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) announced today the opening of Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator based in Manchester.

It aims to help tech startups flourish and encourage innovation between businesses, academia and the government.

Mi-IDEA will give startups a space to work in and doesn't take any equity. It will also allow startups to network with each other, find investors and collaborate with potential customers too.

"Mi-IDEA is a hive of co-innovation, fostering collaboration between industry, government and academia; we're excited for what it will bring to Manchester and look forward to seeing the startups at the centre flourish as we expand our relationship with MSP in this new venture," said Scot Gardner, CEO of Cisco UK & Ireland.

The post-accelerator will be based in the Bright Building in Manchester Science Park, which also opens today. There are already six startups who will be based in Mi-IDEA.

The first startup is Hark, an IoT data capture, monitor and analysis platform which is cloud-based.

The second startup is Wattl, a video platform that provides a new way to discover videos in its app through a zoomable grid.

The third startup is PlaceDashboard which analyses location data to provide useful insights for businesses that want to use this information.

The fourth startup is SteamaCO, whose goal is to bring utility-type capabilities to businesses that want to buy, sell and save energy.

The fifth startup is KMS which aims to use technology to deliver healthcare products and services.

And the sixth startup is Malinko which aims to help organisations run a mobile service business through its platform.

The building where these startups are based will also be shared by CityVerve, the UK's Internet of Things smart city demonstrator, as well as Cisco's UK and Ireland Innovation team.

Rowena Burns, CEO at Manchester Science Partnerships said: "We are proud and delighted to launch both our stunning new Bright Building and Mi-IDEA, which we are sure will be a fantastic engine for growth in Manchester's digital sector. Our partnership with Cisco will give these exciting young, entrepreneurial businesses a fantastic chance of success thanks to the brilliant technology here and the supportive and collaborative community they will find in both the Bright Building and across MSP's campuses."

Additionally, Cisco also declared that it is supporting the bees with backpacks initiative, where bees are tracked with trackable RFID backpacks. The programme will use innovative technology to conduct research into bee habitats, pollination and sustainability in the UK.

Earlier this week, Oracle announced it was opening a cloud accelerator in Bristol. It is working with five startups, chosen out of 120 applicants, and will be based at the Engine Shed in Bristol. At the end of the six months the startups will have an ongoing relationship and receive support from Oracle.

Image sources: Cisco

Zach Marzouk

Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.