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Enterprise support

Wednesday 27 March 2019

The Hallam i-Lab is our exciting business incubator that offers a co-working space for alumni and students who are involved in entrepreneurial activity.

Located in Aspect Court on Pond Street, i-Lab grants you access to expert knowledge, partnerships with industry and the opportunity to work collaboratively with the wider university community. It also provides a range of outstanding facilities, such as PCs, Macs, specialist software and bookable meeting rooms.

If you have the ambition to establish a high growth business or enterprise, you can apply for 6 months of free tenancy (subject to conditions) at the i-Lab, with a further 6 months available for a small monthly fee of only £15 per month. We also have several rentable office spaces that are available for up to a year to alumni whose businesses are beginning to become more established.

Class of 2018 Performance and Professional practice graduates, Joe Palmer and Dan Bale have been based in the Hallam i-Lab since October 2018. They are the owners of film company, Open House Pictures, and have recently made promotional videos for the Lantern Theatre and Sheffield Hallam University.

Joe and Dan tell us more about their experience of working in the Hallam i-Lab and how it has helped them keep focused on developing their business.

How did you set up Open House Pictures and what projects have you worked on so far?

It all started off at university a couple of years ago. Although we came from an acting background we both had a passion for film, so one day in summer 2017 we decided to make a short film which had around 40 volunteers involved in the production. It was a very different process from acting but it was then that we realised we were better behind the camera.

A few months later, we set up Open House Pictures Limited, which was used as a stepping stone to a business after graduation. Originally we started doing everything from wedding videos to showreels, but more recently we have focused primarily on promotional videos.

How has the Hallam i-Lab helped your business?

We've been based in the Hallam i-Lab since October last year and I'm so glad we decided to use the space available.

When you're working from home there are too many distractions - but when you get up, go to the office and work there for 8 hours a day it helps a lot and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone.

If you're starting up a business it's so easy to get carried away with things, be distracted and get in the mind-set of 'oh I'll do it tomorrow', but if you're like that it won't get started. I think you've got to go into a completely new environment. If you're working, eating and sleeping at home it gets a bit too much sometimes, but having that space to go to for work is very important and it's really helped our business. We can concentrate and know that if we go to the i-Lab, we are actually going to do work.

If you are interested in securing a hot-desk place in the Hallam i-Lab, you will be required to attend one of our monthly start-up workshops and book an appointment with our Start-up Adviser.

To find out more about the Hallam i-Lab and the support available to you, please click here.

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