Even the London Start-up scene slows down in August ( especially when it coincides with Olympics). Meet-ups grind to halt, new product launches get put back until September and quiet new businesses start to panic about whether anyone will ever buy from them again. So I thought I would list 25 cool things (Money, Interns, Space, Programmes) available for start-ups in London this summer. Do check them out below:
Cool Accelerators (7)
I love them (perhaps a little too much) but I sincerely believe that they are the best way of enabling innovative and potentially scalable early stage business to generate early market validation and potentially investment. Of course you could follow the lead of London Start-ups Role Point and Pop -set and get yourself on one of the USA version listed here but if you stay in London then these are the ones I would check-out:
- Seed Camp- You must have some early market validation but if you check out their latest portfolio you will find quiet an eclectic mix. Antavo is my favourite recent graduate.
- Springboard- The nearest we have this side of the Atlantic to Y-Combinator and probably the best accelerator in London for digital B2C start-ups.
- Accelerator Academy- Very impressed with the latest graduates especially Pikslme. They are getting a reputation as the best accelerator in London for B2B SaaS businesses.
There are also accelerators that are focus exclusively on a sector like the recently launch Med Tech Accelerator Health Box or Telefonica’s Mobile focused Wayra. We encourage and help start-ups to apply. If you are not sure which one is right for you then get in contact.
Finally, although technically not an accelerator, the Start-Up Leadership programme (presently open for applications) is (by using the collective wisdom peer-to-peer mentoring sessions) a fantastic new way of helping new entrepreneurs succeed.
Cool Space (8)
My favourites are as follows:
- Bathtub 2 Boardroom- The epitome of cool. (Of course if you are over 30 you will quite rightly never get in)
- Trampery- Just knocked of the top spot but still the best space in Tech City. Recently expanding to 5 (FIVE) new sites.
- Cock Pit Arts- If you are a designer-maker then it is the only place to be (unless you are a jeweller – then you should check out Centa’s space in Hatton Garden)
- Innovation warehouse- You may want to hang out at Google Campus or Mozilla but IoW is where serious, going-to-be-big tech entrepreneurs are based.
- Hub Westminster- Who says all cool things happen in East London. It is also a great place for meeting and collaborating with social entrepreneurs.
- London Youth Support Trust- If you are young and want very affordable space and excellent hands on support then LYST 5 centres dotted across inner London are the best place to be.
In fact the coolest (or at least most attractive space for a start-ups to reside in in London is RCA’s Incubator space in Battersea. Only one problem you have to be a graduate of the RCA to get in.
Summer Internships. (3)
There are some fantastic offers of internships presently available. For students I would look at Red Orchre’s offer to spend thirteen weeks learning about green energy in Seville, one of the world’s outstanding centres of green development.
Alternatively you may want to check out the new partnership between CE members Enternships and the British Computer Society. Lot’s off lots of well-paid internship opportunities at http://www.enternships.com/bcs
Finally for SME’s in London looking for a fully paid intern this summer then there are still a few places left on http://www.ucl.ac.uk/advances/support/internship-progamme
Cool ways to raise money. (7)
There is nothing cool about raising finance for a new business. Unlike the Millwall Football Chant no one may like you but you do care. That was before the emergence of crowdfunding. The first and best investment crowdfunding platform for start-ups is Crowdcube. Riding high after raising 600K seed funding for Escape the City, the co-founders Luke and Darren are keen to get more businesses to register there “investment ready “ businesses on the site in time for big promotional push in the Autumn.
Not to get left out in the cool stakes, is East London Small Business Centre, who with the Arts Council, have recently launched a new loan of up to £25k for creative businesses. East London Small Business Centre is still one of the few places left in London that offers free professional business advice and training to start-ups and with its new loans and new programmes continues to go from strength to strength.
But since the most popular enquiry to Capital Enterprise is still a request for info on where they can find free money ( closely followed by a business mentor and a pop-up shop) then I thought I would end the blog on some amazing competitions you can enter over the summer.
- Start-up Games. Held at the start of the Para-Olympics on the 29th August at Hackney House will be a new competition for tech companies around the world. How you are supposed to compete for an unspecified prize is vague to say the least but…
- Digital Shoreditch £1m Start-up Competition. Open this summer and closes in the spring- apparently it will be the X- Factor for the tech sector.
- Samsung £4M Mobile App Challenge – Worth a punt?
- Mobile Launcher- So the prize is only a £1000 pound but it guarantees the winner an opportunity to get a basic minimum viable App in the market.
- Shell Livewire- Another £1000 prize available for young entrepreneurs. Not much money but a great chance of success.