Milton Keynes, UK, February 2002.
Innovation, innovation, innovation from Xscape
..The Central Innovation Network held another hugely popular event at The Stables Theatre with keynote speaker, PY Gerbeau, CEO of Xscape, giving an insight into his vision for the future with Xscape, the giant entertainment, leisure and retail complex based in Milton Keynes. Attendees from over 150 companies from the region packed into the auditorium.
'Xscape is all about innovation, and therefore no two centres will be the same,' said PY Gerbeau.
New centres are planned for Leeds, Glasgow and Germany within the next two years. Each will have their own unique design and different leisure themes which will extend to air parks ( assault courses 20m high in the air ), ice climbing walls, skate board arenas, indoor beach volleyball, simulated surfing and roller hockey.
'If companies want to succeed, they must innovate and do things differently. All participating companies, who partner with us, must bring innovation to Xscape, so that customers can try out new sports products there and then. We're moving from an age of passive entertainment to active participation', said PY Gerbeau.
When questioned about lessons learnt from the Millennium Dome, PY said: 'If you are going to make money from innovation, you must also focus on the right management skills, be humble with your forecasts and never try and break even in one year'.
Xscape has had over half a million visitors since it opened and its Cineworld is the 5th most successful cinema in the country. Footfall has increased by 20% week on week, despite the slowdown in the economy, showing innovation does work.
This was CIN's first Passporting event with Cambridge Network, and it was sponsored by NetSquared. Two minute elevator pitches were given at the start by Trevor Barnes from NetSquared, Steven Wilcox from CleanBurn and Mark Fisher from Jemmac. The event was chaired by Mark Henshaw from Grant Thornton.
About Central Innovation Network ( CIN )
The Central Innovation Network has been established to increase the rate of formation and growth of ambitious innovation and technology based businesses in the greater Milton Keynes area, including Buckingham to Bedford and Luton to Northampton.
The aim of CIN is to develop real and virtual networks. Physical networking between large and small companies, entrepreneurs and equity providers will form an intrinsic part of the seminar series. The web site will also provide the means to encourage and develop virtual networks.
Members are given access to a 'members only' extranet, free attendance at regular seminars from industry experts and access to other enterprise and innovation series from the Open University and Cranfield University.
CIN is led by organisations who promote enterprise, and the founding sponsors are:
Milton Keynes Citizen
Bedford Development Agency