Sheffield Hallam University has launched a new business incubation hub – the Hallam i-Lab – which will offer advice, support and high-tech facilities to student and graduate entrepreneurs.

WANdisco CEO Dave Richards, whose computer software company has sites in Sheffield and Silicon Valley, USA, supported the launch alongside the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Chris Husbands last night (4 April).

The creation of the business incubation space, at the heart of the University’s city campus, will enable students and graduates who are setting up their own business to network and collaborate in dedicated facilities.

Hallam i-Lab also offers students and recently graduated entrepreneurs access to expert business advice through workshops and one-to-one meetings.

Professor Sir Chris Husbands said: “I am delighted to launch the University’s new Hallam i-Lab. This exciting new space will be a hub of creativity and enterprise, supporting our budding student entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground.

“Sheffield has a thriving start-up economy and we are excited to be part of this. The launch of Hallam i-Lab demonstrates our commitment to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of our students and recent graduates and our determination to play a central role in boosting economic growth across the region and beyond.”

At the launch event, guests had the opportunity to view the facilities for themselves and meet a number of current students and graduates who showcased their businesses on the night.

Entrepreneur Hannah Duraid, a Sheffield Hallam University alumna and founder of the award-winning The Great Escape Game, spoke about the business support she received from Sheffield Hallam.

There was a Q & A session chaired by Professor Kevin Kerrigan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Dean of Sheffield Business School. Guests and panellists shared ideas on how the Sheffield City Region can become the start-up and high growth destination of the UK.