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Startup accelerator Exchange appoints head of Manchester and Leeds hubs

Rich Jones Exchange
Rich Jones. Image credit: Exchange

Startup accelerator Exchange has hired a new head to oversee its operations in Manchester and Leeds.

Rich Jones, previously enterprise acceleration manager at NatWest, joins Exchange as it opens applications for its latest cohorts.

Exchange is located at Department Bonded Warehouse in Manchester and Department Leeds Dock.

Founded in 2019, it provides support to startup and scaleup companies through flexible workspaces, workshops and speaker events.

Jones was previously based in Leeds, where he managed the NatWest programme for over two years and ran initiatives that supported over 250 businesses.

Exchange runs two cohorts per year, with alumni including financial wellbeing app Financielle, child labour tracking startup HACE and student rental firm Housr.

Over the last three years, its programmes have supported more than 450 people, according to Exchange.

“Exchange has cemented itself as one of the premier launch pads for early-stage tech companies,” said Jones.

“Now in its fourth year, it’s well respected and trusted across the industry. But there is always more to be done. As the tech ecosystems in Manchester and Leeds continue to develop, there are new opportunities for us to expand our offerings.”

Jones added that his focus will be on “forging connections between the two cities that make up the Northern Corridor”.