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In March last year, WM5G and its collaborators O2, Deloitte, Digital Catapult and Wayra announced the launch of the UK’s first commercial 5G accelerators – called 5PRING – based in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton.
The strategic opportunity for 5PRING was clear – to aid businesses and public sector organisations from across the UK in understanding the benefits of 5G and to support start-ups to develop and scale breakthrough services using 5G, creating jobs and economic growth.
Despite the challenge of launching 5PRING at the start of the pandemic – with many businesses struggling to survive and movement restricted – 5PRING pivoted its approach to deliver online engagements in easy bit-sized modules, with nearly 400 organisations having so far participated in a range of these programmes.
Ahead of the opening of the physical premises in all three locations – once restrictions have been relaxed – 5PRING is hosting a series of showcase events to demonstrate how organisations can transform their businesses and how they can get involved. All of the free-to-attend events will include keynote presentations and panel discussions with a variety of regional leaders, entrepreneurs, and technology experts.
Each of the three accelerators, built to develop the thriving 5G community within the West Midlands, will have a dedicated showcase event focussing on specific areas where 5G will add significant value:
Digital Vendor Booths will add a further dimension to the events, offering a showcase for individual entrepreneurs and organisations to discuss how they are applying the transformative power of 5G to their organisation.
Importantly, it will also be an opportunity to meet representatives of the first cohort of start-ups to have undertaken the longer 3-month accelerator programme, who will be on hand to share their experiences and demonstrate their progress in developing new 5G products and solutions.
Organisations can also find out more about how to participate in the next wave of innovation challenges offered via the 5PRING programme over the forthcoming year.
This follows the success of the first corporate innovation programme which brought together Suez, West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Mott McDonald, Constructing Excellence Midlands and the University of Wolverhampton around the challenge of Green Innovation and how they could work with start-ups and scale-ups using 5G to solve this challenge.
Organisations are encouraged to sign up to the events to understand the great benefits that 5G can bring to transform their business. Interested parties should sign up using the following links:
Robert Franks, Managing Director at WM5G said: “The West Midlands has the largest number of start-ups outside of London as well as many leading enterprises and public services organisations. I’m delighted that 5PRING has been able to engage hundreds of these organisations and start-ups to help them understand the benefits of 5G and start to innovate with 5G – even in the midst of a pandemic. Looking ahead we’re committed to further scale 5PRING’s programmes with organisations of all kinds – to unlock the power of 5G innovation in driving economic and social recovery. Please get involved by registering to participate in 5PRING’s engage events.”
Ravi Kumar, Digital Lead at Black Country Consortium, said: “5PRING is a valuable programme for businesses, SMEs, or individuals wanting to learn about 5G. The programmes provide you access to industry experts, you are taught about effective business planning, how to pitch, how to develop a presentation, and given coaching in a warm, friendly empowering environment. 5PRING is much more than just 5G, so register for the programme today”
Joey Jones, Co-Founder/Chief Revenue & Compliance Officer at CurveBlock, said: “CurveBlock has participated in a number of accelerators and most cost more time than the value they give back. This is not the case with 5PRING. 5PRING has encouraged and pushed us to iterate quickly and correctly to bring a valuable product to market that was not on our roadmap prior to the challenge. The time and effort spent with 5PRING has been well worth it for us.”
Luke Strickland, Environment Team Lead at Mott McDonald, said: “Being a challenge owner on 5PRING has been both insightful and rewarding. Through the process we’ve engaged with some fascinating organisations, sharing mutual expertise and developing meaningful ongoing relationships. We’d recommend it to organisations considering becoming a challenge owner.”
5PRING will help to drive progress against the five missions outlined in WMCA’s recently published West Midlands Digital Roadmap and is a key contributor to building a strong digital economy.
For any additional information and to register for the forthcoming programme of 5G events, please visit: https://5pring.org/