Aston University graduates driving forward regional economy

Birmingham Science Park Entrepreneurs

12 September 2012

Companies founded by Aston University graduates have secured new workspaces at Birmingham Science Park Aston.

Aston Business School Graduate, Nick Holzherr and BBC1’s Apprentice finalist is developing Whisk, a service that creates online shopping lists based on recipes.

Fellow graduate, Alex Major has created Hobzy.com, which allows users to upload examples of their hobbies to gain feedback, find inspiration and join a worldwide like-minded community. Both have been successful in securing grants for their business start-ups, with Nick securing £170,000 and Alex securing £100,000 respectively.

They have both decided to base their new businesses at ‘Tech Tropicana’ at Birmingham Science Park and help invest in the West Midlands region. The Centre, which has recently had a £20,000 makeover, is specifically designed to house business start-ups – providing six office suites.

Nick Holzherr, Co-Founder of Whisk said: “Being a founding tenant at Tech Tropicana at the Science Park, we really feel like we’re in at the beginning of something amazing. Birmingham’s tech scene is thriving right now, and to have a space that we can call our own, and welcome other emerging tech start-ups into will be great for both Whisk and the city overall. The space has already inspired us – we have installed a big dining table and chairs, so that we can cook for each other in true Whisk spirit.”

Alex Major, Co-Founder of Hobzy.com said: “Being able to design and create our own workspace at Birmingham Science Park has been a challenging and rewarding labour of love. Tech entrepreneurs work best in a collaborative environment with like-minded people who are all in the same boat. The other essentials are an excellent broadband connection and affordability. Tech Tropicana hits the nail on the button.”

The Science Park is home to the successful Entrepreneurs for the Future (e4f) a programme, which offers dedicated support for the next generation of tech entrepreneurs.

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Birmingham Science Park said: “It has been a positive experience to engage with our entrepreneurs to undertake this refurbishment programme, which is within one of 11 buildings across the Science Park. We want Birmingham’s tech entrepreneurs to have a sense of ownership for what is happening here, and the creation of Tech Tropicana has embraced that head-on.

For further media information please contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or a.earnshaw@aston.ac.uk


For further information, please contact Charlotte Crossley, Head of Communications at Birmingham Science Park on 0121 250 3522/ 07818 033 122 charlottec@bsp-a.com


Notes to Editors

Birmingham Science Park was founded in 1982 and has been one of the premier Science Parks in the UK ever since. Wholly owned by Birmingham City Council, the Park is actively looking to work with and bring together the public and private sectors, creating interfaces for people with ideas, people with technologies, people with expertise and experience, and people with money, to drive collaboration, thereby promoting innovation.

The Science Park has a highly successful Entrepreneur for the future (e4f) programme, which offers dedicated support for the next generation of tech entrepreneurs and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The Park has also recently announced a UK first by installing state-of-the-art technology to pioneer its ‘Science Park Without Walls’ concept, allowing businesses including Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups to communicate with leading innovators, academics and investors from across the world as if they are sitting in the same room. The initiative has been made possible due to the relationship with technology giant Cisco, which has welcomed the Park onto its Global Exchange for Growth programme.