A Caerphilly start-up business hub that has helped create 250 jobs since it opened two years ago has launched an advertising campaign at Nantgarw’s Showcase Cinema.
The Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise (ICE) held the premier of their cinema advert on Friday July 25 just after it was announced that one of Canada’s fastest growing companies will be opening a research and development centre there.
The £2.6m investment was announced at a meeting between First Minister Carwyn Jones and Appnovation Technologies’ president and CEO on Thursday July 24.
The move, which was supported with £690,000 of Welsh Government money, will bring 25 high skilled jobs to Caerphilly, with a view to create a further 100 additional high quality jobs.
The IT services firm, based in Vancouver, specialise in web, intranet and mobile application development, using open source technologies developed collaboratively.
Tim Welsch, Appnovation’s Director of Marketing, said the development will enhance the area and create close ties with the community.
He said: “We have focused our candidate sourcing to South Wales and have already hired a few candidates in the area.
“We also plan to partner with local universities to create education programs on specific open source technologies.
“The Welsh Government introduced us to the ICE center and upon our first visit we found the center full of energetic, entrepreneurial teams and being that Appnovation is a highly creative, entrepreneurial company and we love to surround ourselves with like-minded firms.
“Appnovation has driven a lot of community initiatives to help local businesses understand the benefits of open source software.
“Open Source software allows businesses and government to collaborate on joint IT projects and share knowledge. Our plan is to drive open source adoption within South Wales and help more businesses conduct joint IT initiatives.”
After the meeting, the First Minister said: “This is exactly the type of high quality investment we want to attract to Wales and I am delighted Appnovation has chosen Wales as its base to expand into Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“It sends out a strong signal that Wales is open for business and a great location for companies wanting to expand and target global markets.
“Appnovation works in one of our key economic sectors and I am delighted to welcome the company to Wales where it will be able to recruit the high skilled employees they need to take their business to the next level.
“I wish the company every success at its new centre in Caerphilly which will play a key role in developing new systems and services enabling Appnovation to meet the growing demand for its services.”
The investment is the biggest in ICE’s short history although chief executive Gareth Jones said a number of companies have completed six figure deals at the hub.
The cinema advert, produced by Trust Productions who are based at ICE, aims to encourage would-be entrepreneurs “north of the A470” to trial their business ideas.
Mr Jones said: “We want to make the centre viable to the whole of South Wales, we’ve seen 100 new companies create 250 new jobs here and aim to help 300 businesses over the next three years.
“Our objective is to get Caerphilly on the map globally for small businesses and we want people locally to realise the economy is picking up again and that it’s a good time to be working in Caerphilly.”
Watch: The Welsh ICE advert