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Ocean Village Innovation Centre powers ahead with new programme of business support for occupiers

March 11th 2024

There are two essentials that many businesses are looking for with serviced office space in the post-pandemic world.

First, as a result of hybrid working, flexibility to increase or decrease the size of office space on location without being penalised financially.

Secondly, on-tap business support from professionals because it is a hard truth that six out of 10 start-ups in the UK fail within 36 months.

Ocean Village Innovation Centre (OVIC) in Southampton, which turns 14 this December, operates 67 offices, along with meeting rooms and break-out areas, with month-long licence agreements for occupiers.

This provides budgetary peace of mind – occupiers know that, if circumstances negatively change, they can cut their cloth accordingly by downsizing to smaller workspace on location.

After all, why pay for workspace that isn’t being used?

On the shiny side of the coin, licence agreements mean that signatories can switch to larger workspace, perhaps with more desks, to accommodate expansion without incurring the considerable costs and time-consuming inconvenient of finding alternative workspace elsewhere.

Prospero Teaching and Blue Arrow are two of the latest occupiers to expand office space at OVIC, which has nearly 2,800 sq m (30,000 sq ft) of flexible workspace and is operated by Oxford Innovation Space on behalf of the five-storey building’s private owner.

The two companies are among 47 rooted at OVIC, including new joiners Napier Management, PBA Consultants, Forest Financial Planning, St Dominic Healthcare, Access 21, Worldwide Cruises and Vision For Education, with their office sizes ranging from 13.5 sq m (145 sq. ft) to 76.5 sq. m (824 sq ft).

It takes a village to raise a child and, in the same way, it can take a caring business centre like OVIC to nurture a company through the early years.

OVIC offers crucial business support to entrepreneurs so that their ventures can develop on solid foundations, including looking at commercial objectives and how to achieve them.

Business support is provided in a myriad of ways, with a vibrant enterprise ecosystem where everyone learns from one another, including warning against business clangers such as forgetting to account for quarterly VAT bills to HMRC, ignoring how to pay for a rapidly looming corporation tax bill or confusing those profit and loss figures with the balance sheet.

Stephen Deller, OVIC’s Centre Manager, said: “You’ll be surprised by how much business owners and operators learn from one another here at OVIC – they share tips, dos and don’ts, market intelligence, insights and different ways of dealing with the inevitable stress that comes with running a business.

“Indeed, business support is critical to the success of many companies starting out or maturing, and, to that end, we have further strengthened our events programme through delivery partnerships in relation to skills, training, sales and strategic growth advice.

“What we have here at OVIC is a thriving community of entrepreneurs and innovators – the building is bursting with energy, ideas and can-do attitude.”

OVIC’s events programme for 2024 include a four-part programme with Hampshire Chamber, focusing on transforming sales and segmented into the following:

  • B2B sales
  • Sales pipeline opportunities
  • Winning business
  • Growing business

Separately, OVIC is working with Southampton University with its Help to Grow programme.

Three advice workshops are also being held this year by Oxford Innovation, aimed at innovation and growth.

The importance of networking cannot be underestimated – many commercial opportunities and referrals come from chats over drinks and food, with mutual trust and respect built.

With this in mind, OVIC hosts various social events, raising money for charity at the same time. Themed events include pizza and drinks, an Easter hamper raffle, Cakes For Cancer, Fruit on Friday and coffee & doughnuts.

Also, as part of OVIC’s events programme, weekly Southampton BNI Group meetings are held every Wednesday at 9.30am, with space for more members to join.

OVIC was proud host to The Solent Business & Skills Solutions workshop for National Apprenticeship Week; further workshops and drop-in sessions are planned for this year.

Stephen said: “All of these events are designed to unleash the business potential of companies here at OVIC. With our in-house support, it is about giving them the tools, guidance and confidence to flourish.”

Oxford Innovation Space, as OVIC’s operator, is a sponsor of the Hampshire Business Show, the county’s largest B2B expo, on 24 October at the Utilita Bowl near Southampton, with a seminar zone with guest speakers.

To find out how your company could benefit from OVIC’s business hub of entrepreneurs and serviced office support, with 67 offices, please contact Stephen on 023 8038 1920 or email s.deller@oxin.co.uk Web: www.oxin.co.uk/ovic

May 26th 2023

Oxford Innovation Space delighted to be managing its first London based innovation centre

Oxford Innovation Space manages the largest network of innovation centres across the UK and Ireland, with FBC Clerkenwell bringing their current total to 28 managed centres, with a further four in the pipeline. Businesses within these centres directly benefit from their business support onsite, access to business angels and funding, as well as being part of the wider network of centres.

May 26th 2023

Taking tech companies to the next level

Tech businesses looking to commercialise new ideas will be able to draw upon expert help at a special afternoon event in Hampshire.

An innovation and growth session takes place at Ocean Village Innovation Centre (OVIC), at Ocean Marina in Southampton, on Wednesday, 7 June.

April 28th 2023

Orchard blossoms in first year with new staff and recruitment

A recruitment consultancy in Southampton marked its first anniversary by making two employment moves of its own.
Orchard Recruiting, based at business hub Ocean Village Innovation Centre (OVIC), recruited Laura Baker as a permanent consultant and Rachel Marshall as a recruitment advisor.
Founded by Lisa Orchard, the firm has seen demand steadily increase from companies struggling to fill vacancies or expand themselves due to the UK’s labour shortage.
The start-up focuses on filling roles such as office administrators and customer service – temporary and permanent – for employers and job seekers, including in finance, accountancy, marketing, insurance, law, HR and manufacturing.