WELSH SUCCESS STORIES
As Plato so eloquently put it “Necessity is the mother of creation” and this is definitely the case for Cardiff’s very own little bit of Shoreditch, Tramshed Tech. Mark co-founder of Tramshed Tech in Cardiff with his business partner, Louise Harris, was looking for a cool place for their existing business Big Learning Company but couldn’t find anything that fitted the bill. So the two took the bold decision to turn a derelict Victorian red-brick building that was once a depot for the city’s trams into a co-working space and hub for the creative industries and tech sector.
“That decision to invest in the project really paid off,” says Mark as Tramshed Tech is now home to web developers, film and TV production companies, social media and digital marketing companies, along with some of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK. “In less than eighteen months they’ve gone from a derelict building to 140 people being based there, including 50 co-workers and some of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK. One of these companies being Amplyfi, who are transforming the business intelligence sector with artificial intelligence. “Amplyfi aim to be a billion dollar business and are growing so fast that we’re building new office spaces for them right now,” says Mark. “In fact, Tramshed Tech is becoming a real centre of expertise for AI, hosting regular AI Wales and PyData meetups.
These meet-ups, along with similar ones for cryptocurrencies, agile working and social media analytics reflect another key feature of Tramshed Tech, that it has become the go to place to discover the latest in digital innovation. “We didn’t quite expect the demand for innovation events, but this has really taken off since we opened in September 2016,” said Mark. Other organisations have recognised this too, with Innovate UK setting up an office in Tramshed Tech and large companies such as Microsoft, Google and Lego Education collaborating with Tramshed Tech to deliver digital transformation to the SME, corporate and education sectors. “We’re particularly excited about our new partnership with Microsoft,” explains Mark. “Tramshed Tech will be delivering a whole range of cloud-based digital transformation programmes, which we think will have a major impact across Wales.”
“Our vision was to provide a growth platform where entrepreneurs could meet, and find out the latest developments. It’s a place to network and validate new business models and it’s also a great place to meet investors and just get things done,” said Mark. This certainly seems to have worked as all the office units are full and the co-working space has a real vibrancy that hits you as soon as you walk in the door. “We’re a start-up ourselves, so we know what it is to invest your all in a business.” This authenticity shows through in Tramshed Tech’s own business accelerator where, in partnership with Business Growth Wales’ Accelerated Growth Programme, they advise start-ups on how to grow fast and secure investment to take them to their next stage. “It’s all about growth and meeting a need to see digital opportunities turn into real business and jobs for Wales.”