Jumping Rivers makes leap to The Catalyst

A FAST-GROWING data business has leapt into a new Tyneside base, after growing its team following a surge in demand for its services.

Jumping Rivers, which was founded in 2016, offers data analytics to clients spanning manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, helping companies to draw insights from the information they hold and use it to drive business improvements.  The company – which was founded by husband-and-wife team Esther and Dr Colin Gillespie – has taken up space in The Catalyst, a £50m business centre in Newcastle’s Helix. 

The company, which works with some of the biggest brands in the world, including Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies and the NHS, as well as smaller more specialist businesses, now has 11 full time employees and expects to advertise for a further two roles over the coming weeks.  The business has taken a base at The Catalyst to provide an opportunity for its team – which has previously operated from home – to come together, collaborate and mix with businesses that also have an interest in data. 

Esther Gillespie, who set up the business after eight years out to raise her young family, said:

“Jumping Rivers was borne out of my husband’s interest in training and the response he received about consulting – I saw that he was gaining traction and was ready to return to work having taken a period of time out to spend with my babies. 

“The first year felt rather steady, but we’ve grown quickly taking space in The Catalyst felt like the right move for us, providing a space that we can use to come together and connect with other businesses too.

“When we carried our boxes in and sat down amongst the clutter as a team, we instantly felt at home.  The building has a really comfortable feel about it.  Like a home from home.  It’s felt harmonious for us, and we’re so looking forward to settling in.”

The centre is home to the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD), which was set up to spur on the growth of the region’s tech and digital cluster.  Little over a year after opening, it was already home to an exciting cluster of data-focused businesses, as well as a number of organisations with a focus on ageing, as the base of the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA).

“The fact that we will be able to connect with other businesses that are using other cutting-edge technologies will be a huge advantage. Continually learning, we provide innovation for our customers.  Being part of a cluster that will challenge each other, and push boundaries, is so appealing      

“We’re an opportunistic business, so it’s great to be based somewhere, where a chance conversation with a business that shares our interests could lead to so much more.”

Jumping Rivers is the latest in a long line of businesses to make the move into The Catalyst, despite the pandemic, which has seen many companies move to home-working. 

The Catalyst is in the heart of Newcastle’s Helix development, a vibrant cluster that stands in the shadow of St James’ Park. 

The building is managed by Oxford Innovation, the UK’s leading operator of innovation centres, and provides a hub for entrepreneurs and researchers in data to collaborate and create new companies, services and products.  The Catalyst creates a supportive ecosystem for firms to grow and develop new ideas, products and services, alongside world-leading creative thinkers.

Ryan Blake, Assistant Centre Manager at The Catalyst, said: “Jumping Rivers is a brilliant business, that we are really proud to welcome to the centre.

“Their ingenuity has seen Jumping Rivers grow rapidly, and – as they become part of The Catalyst community – I’m sure they will unearth new opportunities that will see them continue to expand.”

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Posted in: Digital and Tech