On the HWIC road to growth

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A chance meeting over coffee at one of Cornwall’s innovation centres has led to two companies based at the facility collaborating on a new project.

The Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre (HWIC) in Truro is one of three business acceleration centres in the Duchy, run by Plymouth University on behalf of Cornwall Council, which support companies to grow their businesses more quickly.

Organic skincare company Spiezia Organics moved into HWIC in January 2013, and has seen an increase in profits of close to £34k and created three new jobs in the last year as a result of being based at the centre.

Collaborators: Amanda Winwood and Dan Hinchcliffe
Collaborators: Amanda Winwood and Dan Hinchcliffe

Spiezia’s MD met up with a business which had recently moved into HWIC – Insite Digital – and discovered it created ecommerce websites designed to boost online sales.

Amanda Winwood said:“I got chatting to the sales director Dan Hinchliffe over a coffee in the centre kitchens – and discovered they were the experts on creating commercial platforms for selling online.

“It was the perfect solution as they are just one floor up if we have any questions, and it’s been fantastic to be able to work with a company right here at the Innovation Centre.

“This collaboration wouldn’t have happened without our both being based at HWIC, and it’s benefited the both of us. We absolutely love being at the centre as there is so much support available, but the connections you can make with other companies can prove just as essential.”

Insite Digital also has expansion plans now it is based at the Innovation Centre, and is about to advertise for three new positions – a sales and marketing manager, a project co-ordinator and a PHP MySQL developer.

Since the Health and Wellbeing Centre opened in Truro in 2013, the purpose-built facility has supported the creation of more than 33 jobs and helped the 18 fast-growing companies based there to enjoy record annual growth of 46% in one year.