Ann Darby had been a key member of The Landing’s senior management team since its inception in 2012. As strategic partnerships director, her primary role was to support The Landing’s 100+ tenant companies and freelancers, the hub’s specialist technical operators and numerous industry partners.
She also played a major part in organising and delivering networking events, training sessions and industry seminars for a wide range of companies across the North West, nationally and internationally.
Now with new company The Bridge, Darby will continue to work with digital start-ups, creative micro-businesses and technical SMEs similar to those she managed while at The Landing.
She said: “With The Bridge I aim to help firms turn amazing concepts into reality and maximise ideas with high growth potential. We will also be different from other innovation accelerators because it will put the customer first, developing products and services in response to a clearly defined market requirement with a very strong emphasis on the end user experience.”
In addition to offering services to small businesses via The Bridge, Darby has also been given a specific business development remit by Interactive Media UX (IMUX), the company which currently operates The Landing’s SPACE UX Labs on its 6th floor.
The SPACE Labs are some of the most sophisticated user-experience (UX) facilities in the UK and are currently used by many leading brands, developers and manufacturers who road test hardware and software via four usability labs, eye-tracking facilities, a 10-Bay Social Gaming Test Suite, analogue and fibre connectivity and other monitored UX testing facilities.
Director of IMUX, Jon Parker, said: “We’ve already worked closely with Ann in her role at The Landing and we know the high levels of energy, enthusiasm, knowledge and professionalism she will bring to the SPACE Labs. Her approach of ‘putting the customer first’ is also at the heart of our user experience work, and I see great synergies between our facilities and offer, our clients’ needs, and Ann’s philosophy to running The Bridge.”
CEO of The Landing, Jon Corner, said: “We’re delighted that Ann will still be based at The Landing and through her new venture will be supporting start-ups in the digital space which continues to be one of our overarching remits. We also have big plans for the SPACE Labs, and I’m confident Ann will help us develop a healthy pipeline of projects through her work with IMUX which will not only benefit The Landing and MediaCityUK, but also the wider North West digital and creative economy”.