A business support programme for tech SMEs in Birmingham is opening up for a second intake.

Innovation Birmingham is working with online sports clothing retailer Gymshark to host the Lift Your Business campaign at the former's iCentrum building in the city centre.

It follows the first round of the incubation programme launched last August which saw eight SMEs based at the Serendip Smart City Incubator, in iCentrum, and offered support by Solihull-based Gymshark.

The initiative aims to drive growth and opportunities for tech SMEs through a structured programme of mentoring, providing the businesses with the opportunity to access Gymshark's network and learn from its expertise and experience.

Adam Harrison, Gymshark's head of special projects, said: "We've been extremely encouraged by the partnership with Innovation Birmingham and it's enabled us to give something back to the area that we call home.

"High levels of interest were shown for the first programme and over the last six months we've highlighted why there was such competition for places.

 

"We've been working with eight digital technology businesses, all operating in a variety of different sectors, from workplace wellness, clean energy and fitness testing to mobile apps and performance coaching.

"Bringing the region's brightest innovators together in one place has highlighted the collaborative commercial and social relationships that this can trigger."

Gymshark was founded in 2012 by Ben Francis by printing T-shirts in his parents' garage and it now operates 11 online stores across the world.

It is one of six commercial partners within the Serendip Smart City Incubator which was launched in 2016 to help businesses connect with marketplaces for their innovative products and services.

Katharine Fuller, head of business support at Innovation Birmingham, added: "In the six months that we've been working with Gymshark, we've seen first-hand how a partnership between an innovation specialist and a sector leader can result in fantastic opportunities for SMEs.

"This platform of support has been launched at a great time for Birmingham, especially considering global attractions like the Commonwealth Games 2022, which will present opportunities for tech SMEs to implement their innovations."

The deadline for applications is April 11.