London is a hugely popular city for tech startups. In 2018, more than 205K startups were registered as based in the capital. No wonder, the city has a lot to offer. There are over 150 co-working spaces and over 70 incubators and accelerators here. In 2017, VCs spent more than £5 billion on tech startups in London, which in return generated over £56 billion in digital revenue. This is all in addition to London being a key market for a range of industries, from fashion to finance, and advertising to music, and the universities and talent that support them. It’s also a pretty fun city to live in!
If growth is at the top of your list, there are great accelerators, incubators and communities that can help your business with refining your ideas and developing a strategy. These are the four ways to grow your startup in London!
Google has become much more than a search engine over the last two decades. One of its numerous activities is also supporting startups. They have campuses in multiple cities across the globe where they offer events, programmes and venues for startups to come and learn.
They believe that the power of startups is in solving complex problems that can help society move forward and they support startups on their way to achieving this. Each startup that joins Google receives tailored mentorship and workspace at Google for Startups Campuses. Companies like Pace or Vestpod are among many residents of Google’s London Campus.
Google for Startups hosts loads of events too that help entrepreneurs with different aspects of their businesses, but that allow them to network and get to know each other as well. If you don’t want to miss out on what’s happening in London, you have to follow the Head of Google for Startups in the UK, Marta Krupińska.
Founders Factory is a partner for all startups that are looking to grow. It works with both entrepreneurs who haven’t founded their companies yet, and existing startups that want to scale. It was founded by Brent Hoberman and Henry Lane Fox in London and has worked with companies like Luther Systems or Straight Teeth Direct.
Founders can join the programme and receive validation on their ideas as well as initial funding. Startups looking to scale can use Founders Factory’s contacts to establish partnerships and receive additional cash support.
If you have an idea but haven’t developed it further, Entrepreneur First is a great place to go. Its aim is to help you find your co-founder and start the business together. You may have all the technical expertise, but don't have the commercial experience. This is your chance to meet your future co-founder. It doesn’t come as a surprise that a company that believes in the power of co-founders was founded by a pair - Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck. They both worked at McKinsey & Co before starting EF and are also involved in Code First: Girls.
EF’s alumni include Affable, an AI for Influencer Marketing campaigns company, Brolly, an AI driven personal insurance platform, Chattermill, customer experience analytics tool, and Genie AI, a legaltech contract drafting startup. EF also worked with Magic Pony, which was acquired by Twitter for £150M.
The overall goal of Entrepreneur First is to bring people together and give them an environment where they can meet and realise the potential of their ideas. It runs as a full-time six-month programme in both Europe and Asia. Check in with Jonny Clifford, EF London’s General Manager.
Backstage Capital supports founders from underrepresented groups such as women, people of colour and LGBTQ+. It was founded by Arlan Hamilton in the US, but can be found in Europe now as well. Your London go-to people would be Andy Davis, Anisah Osman Britton and Andy Ayim.
Its accelerator programme lasts three months and helps founders reach the next milestones by offering mentorship, investment capital and access to resources and networks. Companies Backstage Capital has worked with, are for example floral arrangements DIY kits company IT’S BY U, a platform for discussing politics and culture without trolling and abuse GREO, a watch company supporting children in Sub-Saharan Africa Vitae, or a mobile barbershop and nail studio app Trim It.
We’re sure that by combining all the resources available you can achieve your goals!
BY MONIKA BOUDOVA, JUNIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE AT CEW COMMS