AWARD-WINNING North East company Zipcube needs to move fast 24/7 – and with the help of Go Digital Newcastle, its business is going supersonic.
Zipcube, based in Newcastle’s Campus North, sources empty space for desks, meetings and events, so workers who need meeting rooms can book venues instantly online.
And now the company is building its business with superfast broadband, thanks to help from the Go Digital Newcastle connection voucher initiative.
Go Digital Newcastle, run by Newcastle City Council, offers small and medium businesses, charities and social enterprises in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Gateshead free vouchers worth up to £3,000 so they can get connected to superfast broadband by the supplier of their choice.
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Providing a quick response to enquiries is at the heart of Zipcube’s business, according to co-founder David Hellard – so superfast broadband is a must.
He said: “Quick broadband is really the life and breath of our business, because we need to be constantly connected with our site – zipcube.com – and connected with our customers.
“On a site like ours, even a split second’s delay can mean the difference between a customer placing an order or getting distracted and leaving the page.”
Before Zipcube was set up, it was often difficult and slow to book meeting space online. And with an estimated 7m UK workers becoming mobile in the next two years, that was a problem – and a gap in the market.
“You could book a holiday, a plane, even plastic surgery – but you couldn’t book a meeting space,” said David.
“But now, with Zipcube, you put in the city, date, type of space you require and search for live availability – and you can book.”
Zipcube, which has now also branched out into a London office, won the prize for best start-up at this year’s Thinking Digital conference on Tyneside.
David is keen to encourage other businesses in the area to apply for their own free Go Digital Newcastle connection voucher.
“It’s a fantastic scheme,” he said. “For any business, IT is one of the biggest overheads, and having money made available is a big help.
“Being able to get superfast broadband can really help your business develop and operate a website that’s world-class.”
Go Digital Newcastle also offers eligible businesses in Newcastle the chance to take part in a free programme of business support including masterclasses and one-to-one sessions with expert advisors.
Cllr Michael Johnson, Newcastle City Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Skills, Business and Enterprise, said: “Zipcube is a new company that’s already making its mark, and superfast broadband’s quicker, more reliable internet access will make a big difference to its operations.
“With Go Digital Newcastle, businesses can apply for their own connection voucher, but commercial landlords can also apply for a voucher on behalf of each of their tenants where they are based in based in one building or on a business park – ten connection vouchers could add up to an investment of £30,000.
“It’s a real win-win – the businesses get all the advantages that superfast broadband can bring, while the landlord is able to offer tenants the most attractive and up-to-date broadband facilities.”