Allia launches new network for start-ups in Peterborough

A new network has been launched in Peterborough to help connect and grow start-ups and early-stage ventures. The network, Peterborough Spark, will host informal socials, events and talks for anyone who is thinking of starting a business or is running a company less than three years old.

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Free and informal, the aim of Peterborough Spark is to help form a collaborative network of enterprising people in Peterborough. By doing so, the network will empower and enable more people to build successful startups and growing, scalable, businesses.

Peterborough Spark is hosted by Allia Future Business Centre Peterborough, a growing hub for impact and innovation in the city. The centre is home to a range of ventures in all shapes and sizes, including ABAX and Opportunity Peterborough, with serviced offices and co-working facilities on site. If that wasn’t enough, Allia has a wealth of experience supporting start-ups to grow in Peterborough and Cambridge. The charitable organisation has recently launched ERDF funded Serious Impact – a structured programme of support for impact ventures.

“The number of start-ups and early-stage ventures in Peterborough is growing rapidly…”

Centre Manager, Gareth Jones, started Peterborough Spark to help connect start-ups to the available support.

‘We know the number of start-ups and early-stage ventures in Peterborough is growing rapidly, with such strong connections to London, great connectivity and affordable space, it’s no surprise. We also know there’s lots of free support on offer to start-ups. But we were struggling to connect with new businesses. And those we found were struggling to connect with each other.’

With a reported 50% of start-ups failing within the first 5 years, networking and business support is vital to survival. Spotting a gap in Peterborough, Allia Future Business Centre has stepped in to make it happen.

‘We could see something was missing. So we designed Peterborough Spark to support early-stage ventures. We connect entrepreneurs in the city, facilitate collaborations and help Peterborough businesses start-up, grow and support each other.’

The next Spark Social, on 20 October, will be the first to offer an expert speaker.

In addition to the usual networking, the next event will welcome Jon Torrens to deliver 18 blistering minutes on pitching and presentations and Eileen Lennon, will share ‘creating a tribe’.

If you’d like to get involved, or just want to know more, you can sign up here (it’s free!).

About Peterborough Spark:

Peterborough Spark is a new network for entrepreneurs, founders, innovators, problem-solvers and people with great ideas of all ages. Spark offers you the chance to collaborate, develop new ideas, share best practice, and learn better ways of doing things to enable you to become more productive.

We are busy planning a series of Spark Talks on a variety of topics that will provide you with the skills and knowledge to be more creative, productive and successful. The talks will be short and sharp and will hopefully be both informative and entertaining!

Spark Social are our free monthly networking events where you can come along and talk to other people over a beer, glass of wine, orange juice and a selection of snacks. These are designed to be laid back and casual so feel free to leave your tie at the door!

About the speakers:

Jon Torrens

Jon has worked as a designer (and experienced the joy of deadlines) at games companies including Sony and Criterion, and as a professional stand-up comic, so he knows how to engage and motivate. Occasionally, he can be funny too!

Now, as a coach and speaker, Jon teaches effective communication, using his personal skills to both show and tell. He has delivered communication skills training for Electronic Arts, Space Ape Games and Cambridge University. A unique combination of insights from the worlds of computer game design and stand-up comedy enables even the most introverted of his clients to deliver presentations that enhance their professional persona and both delight and motivate their audiences.

Eileen Lennon

Head of Enterprise Inclusion at Enterprising Women, Eileen has been involved in the enterprise and business development sector for 15 years, with a particular expertise in female entrepreneurship, has run her own business and been CEO of a social enterprise.

About Allia

Allia is a Cambridge based UK charity that started in 1999. It supports people and organisations to create a positive social impact. Allia does this in three ways, through social finance, through social innovation and through workspace with enterprise support. Allia has Future Business Centres in Cambridge and Peterborough. They are a home for enterprises who want to improve life for people or protect the planet. They provide start-ups and growing enterprises with high quality affordable workspace, business support and opportunities to build a successful business, co-locating with like-minded organisations. For more information see

Keep an eye out for upcoming Peterborough Spark events featuring talks from startup founders, tools for new businesses and our “business essentials” events providing key knowledge and support on topics such as marketing, finance and productivity.

RSVP via meetup.

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