About this project
We've 9 days left of our campaign - can you help us hit our second stretch goal?
Thanks to EVERYONE who contributed to help us smash past our first stretch goal of £16,000 - we're now able to ensure Campus North has recording facilities for events!
Take a look at the stretch goals below, and please help if you can!
Meanwhile, here's a sneak peek at the T-shirt designed for our Kickstarter campaign by Laura Bee - lots of lovely little details about life with the Ignite family!
By reaching this target we get to support two brilliant local businesses, as well as add a touch of class to Campus North.
One of the country's top creators of modern British Furniture is Dead Good, and they're based in Newcastle - in the same building as Campus North! If we reach £20,000, we'll be commissioning some entirely stylish furniture for our boardroom, as well as commissioning our other neighbours, local artists Prefab77, to create a piece for Campus North.
A lot of people have requested more big name speakers grace the city to share their experience and vision, so we're teaming up with our friends at Industry Conference to deliver quarterly events that will see big names in tech from around the world on-stage at Campus North; all Industry events will be free to members.
If we reach this target, then Newcastle gets a public device lab that any tech startup in the region can use to test software. £2,000 won't buy every device under the sun, but it'll be a great start.
Thanks to our friends at Industry Conference, for £175 you can get the full £100 package (Wall! T-shirt! Ticket! Hot-desking!) plus a full one-day ticket to Industry Conference, one of the country's premier tech events. Take a look at the stellar line-up here.
What's happening in Newcastle?
There are only a handful of UK cities that have a strong, native tech community - and Newcastle is one of them. There are developer meetups everywhere you turn, global conferences and events (Thinking Digital, Industry, GameHorizon, DIBI and others), coffee houses crammed with entrepreneurs huddled over Macbooks. Week after week, the national media is highlighting the work of the city's digital and creative industries.
Who are we?
We're Lyndsey, Paul and Tristan - a team of entrepreneurs who manage Ignite, one of Europe's top accelerator programmes for early-stage startups.
For three years we've operated programmes and low-cost incubator space for founders, and supported Newcastle tech scene with a Community Fund for meetups. We also work with CodeClub; Lyndsey is the charity's regional co-ordinator, working with developers and schools to deliver technology education.
What are we doing?
Newcastle has one of the strongest tech communities outside London, so we're creating one of the biggest venues dedicated to technology startups in the North of England.
After 18 months of searching for a new space, we recently signed for premises in Newcastle City Centre. Initially we're starting with 10,000 sq ft of storage and offices, and refurbishing it to create a large hot-desking and venue space, booths, meeting rooms and classrooms, as well as affordable co-working space and offices, and a dedicated space for our accelerator programmes. We chose the building because it provides options for further expansion if we reach capacity.
Our total budget for all renovations and furnishings is a very modest five figures, so along with one builder, Tristan has taken on the project management and renovation work himself (with a little help from Ignite alumni and friends!). At the time of launch, we're about three weeks in to the work:
Why are we fundraising?
We're raising through a Kickstarter campaign for two reasons:
- We want to guarantee the region's not-for-profit tech meetups free space for their events, support educational events such as Code Club, and provide a venue for community events such as hack weekends. Raising a small amount of money ensures we can staff out-of-hour events, provide refreshments and ensure a high quality of facilities;
- Plenty of people have asked how they can support what we're doing; this gives everyone the opportunity to contribute, in a small or big way.
If we don't meet our target, Campus North will still go ahead - but we want to ensure we can do as much for others as possible, and make this venue as fantastic as we can.
What are the rewards?
This is your opportunity to take advantage of some exclusive swag and earlybird deals, as well as support the project!
The Community Wall
As we planned the look and style of the new space, we wanted to find a physical way of representing the goodwill of the people supporting us. We're dedicating a whole wall to the people who support this project - every person who donates will see their name added to the wall, as a permanent reminder of their generosity!
Launch Party Tickets
Ignite holds plenty of events for the region's tech startups, none more popular than the monthly Startup Beers we organise with our friends at Sendgrid.
If you attended our Summer BBQ or our Winter Ball, you'll know we love a good party, so we'll be throwing the biggest, classiest bash of the year when we launch - hopefully you can join us!
We've commissioned the lovely Laura Bee to create a kick-ass t-shirt design especially for our members - and this is your chance to grab one!
For freelancers and teams who want to get out the house, we'll be offering monthly and annual membership packages for our hot-desking space - over 3,000 sq. ft of plush sofas, booths and meeting rooms. Each low-cost package means you can work in space for up to 10 weekdays per month during daytime hours, use all the facilities (Phone booths! Free tea, coffee and fruit!) and enjoy several hours of free meeting room allocation. There's also free entry into the workshops and exclusive Office Hour events that Ignite will be organising every month.
If you're a business looking to get involved in the tech scene, we'll ensure everyone knows you're one of the venue's key sponsors.
Risks and challenges
While we've worked on renovating spaces before, this is a new challenge for us. The space is dry and waterproof, but beyond that everything else needs doing - hot water, flooring, electricals, heating and of course, super-fast fibre internet! Before we get to any of that, there's a lot of internal demolition to be done, new toilets to install and so on.
We're on a tight budget, and the extent of the work means delays are possible. However, we're hoping to minimise this by staggering the work and consequently the opening of the various facilities - this is actually helped by the fact that a third of the space is currently under lease to another tenant and we can't access it for several more weeks.
Tristan is managing the project and is working closely with contractors and the local council to ensure everything is done as quickly, as efficiently and as safely as possible. We're confident that we can start using the space by April and we'll be ready for an official launch in June.
With this property we're taking on a five year lease. Nobody can predict the future, and certainly never in tech - but we've full confidence in the great things that are happening around us. While we've minimised the risks and the outlay, a leap of faith is required in a project like this - and that's something we're prepared to do for the good of the community. We hope you'll join us.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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