Cross stakeholder collaboration – Principality and Wesley Clover Innovation Centre

The below case study is a great example of BeTheSpark ‘in action’ by actively bringing together the entrepreneur and corporate stakeholder groups to help create a more visible, simple and connected entrepreneurial ecosystem within Wales.

Principality and WCIC and BTS

On the 17th May 2018 the leadership team at the Wesley Clover Innovation Centre welcomed Principality’s executive team to their premises at the Celtic Manor, Newport. This opportunity originally arose from Caroline Thompson, CEO of BeTheSpark hosting a meeting she had with Steve Hughes, CEO of Principality in the building weeks prior.

The purpose of this visit was to facilitate Principality’s board meeting followed by a unique opportunity for five businesses housed within the Innovation centre to each pitch their businesses 1:1 to the executive team.

The businesses who pitched to the Principality team included:

The pitches presented offered a product or service that aims to solve valid business problems companies face in today’s environment and improve the efficiency of the company in achieving this.

By using the BeTheSpark methodology, connecting and encouraging collaboration between both corporate and entrepreneur stakeholder groups this visit exposed ambitious entrepreneurs to corporates.

This unique opportunity proved to be mutually beneficial. Upon closing the meeting Principality offered each entrepreneur a follow-up meeting to discuss their solution and proposal further. Each entrepreneur was also allocated their own member of the board as a mentor.

Following their pitch to Principality, Simon Fraser CEO of Hut Six was directly introduced into their security team who manages cyber and digital security for the Principality:

“Since first meeting Principality at the Wesley Clover Innovation Centre following their team day back in May, Hut Six have since met with Principality's security team to compare notes and gain insight on their in-house security awareness programme and our product offering. This has led to good product feedback and the potential to work together in the coming year which we are very excited about.”

Jordan Alexander, CEO of Codeherent – a code tool which aims to bridge the skills gap enabling inexperienced developers to use Terraform easily with minimal training or expertise – also found the opportunity beneficial by gaining valued insight directly from Principality’s IT team:

“Codeherent has had several meetings with senior members of Principality’s IT team who are responsible for the IT function within the business. Principality are a really friendly and forward-thinking company who we have struck up a good relationship with and in the near future, hope to help them adopt Terraform into their organisation.”

Ben Moore, Managing Director of Volunteer Space gave us a quick update following their pitch to the team where they shared their (then concept) employee volunteering platform which has led to significant corporate insight and interest:

“Principality have provided us with valuable validation and insight which in turn has helped guide the development of our new volunteering platform for businesses. The team at Principality have been extremely supportive and we look forward to welcoming them to trial Volunteer Space in the New Year.”

CulturVate’s CEO Craig Barnett found the experience equally valuable. Following his pitch he was directly introduced to Sam Marshall from the Principality IT Architectural team not long after the meeting:

“Since meeting Steve Hughes and the executive team, we have had a number of discussions with Principality around their innovation processes. These discussions have been very helpful in allowing CulturVate to understand how a large corporate fosters and retains an innovative approach to working. We are excited about our growing relationship with Principality and what the future may hold”.