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Published: 17th April 2018

10 companies that were all started at Plymouth University

From app and games designers to fashionistas, all these firms grew out of the university’s Formation Zone.

It’s become one of the city’s most dynamic business incubators and the University of Plymouth’s Formation Zone has just marked 10 years of helping fledgling companies get airborne.

In that time the start-up hub has worked with 209 businesses – of which 77 per cent are still in operation.

“That’s an amazing statistic,” said Eleanor Browne, Formation Zone programme manager.

She revealed 60 per cent of the businesses started in the zone are still in Plymouth, 30 per cent are now based throughout Devon and Cornwall and only 10 per cent are out of the region.

“Those 60 per cent are in private offices around the city, but some people work from home.”

Based in the Marine Building, on the main University campus, start-ups – often formed by graduates – pay a rent, but get more than just business space, also receiving assistance to help them thrive.

They have a monthly opportunity to meet an accountant, business advisor and work-based coach. An Intellectual Property, (IP), advisor is also available for one-off consultations.

Formation Zone has attracted a range of businesses from videogame and website designers to marketing and PR experts.

Professor Judith Petts, the university’s vice-chancellor, said there is now a plan to extend the Formation Zone into Plymouth Science Park.

“We are continuing to support graduates who want to be entrepreneurs,” she said.

Prof Petts said starting a business can be challenging, but stressed: “The Formation Zone is a safe place to start.”

So here are 10 business that started in the university:

Fuel Communications – brand experts celebrating 10 years of growth

Elixel – app developer now launching its own products

One Polygon – virtual reality wizards targeting the luxury boat market

Bird Sunglasses – family firm making shades to save the planet

Altitude Design – web design studio set up by young gun

Shield Business Group – security experts and drone operators par excellence

Diversity Business Incubator – promoting business growth in the city’s Black, Asian and ethnic minority groups

The Ocean Corner – turning marine waste into style

Nikomus Games – creator of eat “em up/shoot ‘em up” games

L&D Training – keeping Plymouth safe by helping vulnerable people ask for Angela

See the full article and more about all of the clients here.