Where to start in the London Tech Scene

    Editor’s note: this is a sponsored post by UK Trade and Investment

    London, a true and original European metropolis, and birthplace of William Blake, Punk rock and British tea drinking. Indeed, London has been home to many colourful things since its establishment more than a millennia ago, but during the last ten years it has provided fertile soil for a flourishing startup ecosystem – one which distantly reminds us of a Silicon Valley yet unprecedented in Europe.

    Nordic startups have found London, and the entirety of the UK for that matter, as the perfect playground for startups to really stand up on their own feet and see what they (and their products) are made out of, but in order for foreign startups to ensure safe landing onto London ground, it’s crucial for them to have their homework done and in recent memory.

    Question is, how to get started?

    Obviously a flight ticket to Heathrow and an English dictionary won’t be enough. We’re talking about where to begin, which office spaces to consider and who’re the big players out there you need to know.

    Step 1: Big Players

    Regardless of what industry you’re in, it’s likely that your potential business customers and partners have set up shop in London. The city is known as a Finance hub, but industries like Media, Fashion, and Health Tech make up good sections of the economy. London is increasingly the place where deals get done in Europe.

    Additionally it’s good to know your startup neighbors there. A few lists of startups headquartered in London include:

    London Startups

    Venturebeat’s 6 hottest London startups

    Quora: Which-London-Internet-startups-are-doing-more-than-10m-in-revenue?

    Also, it’s probably a good idea to start following these startups in their active social medias. This keeps you on the track on what’s going on in the local scene, plus it’s good to have some icebreaker topics in your sleeve when meeting other business people.

    Step 2: Coworking spaces

    Here’s probably where your choice will have the deepest long-term impacts. Not only the right office space will possibly connect you with relevant people, it will also be the nursery for your ideas.

    Here are some cool coworking spaces you should check out;

    Whitebearyard (this is where Transferwise started from)
    Club Workspace
    The Cube
    Level 39 (especially for Finance, retail, and future cities)
    and Central Working

    Worry not, if you didn’t find a place you could call “office” among the workspaces above, head on over here, the wiki portal listing the rest of London coworking spaces. There’s a ton to choose from.

    Step 3: Events

    Between meetups, conferences, and hackathons, London has so many startup-flavoured events that listing all them down would simply be silly. This is why your next task is to sign up to a set of newsletters that will provide you with the events you feel your calendar and mindset could fit in.

    Here are few newsletters and calendars that could really help you out;

    Startup Digest’s’ London edition

    Of all the tinier regular events Silicon Drinkabout was my definite favourite. It’s a regular afterwork-drinks evening for startups every Friday. It seems like a good place to meet like minded entrepreneurs over drinks that soften out any work week related edginess.

    Have any questions about setting up shop in London? The good people over at UKTI are your local resource to get the answers you need. In Finland, feel free to reach out to Mari Aaltonen.

    UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. They also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy. Their extensive network provides market and sector specific information, location and office space guidance and practical help (e.g. company establishment, taxation and hiring personnel) to get your UK operation up and running. Their services for Finnish companies are confidential and free of charge.

    More information on UKTI – www.ukti.gov.uk and on London’s Tech City –www.techcityuk.com or please get in touch with Mari Aaltonen

    Top Image Courtesy Of Shuttestock // Business London
    A view from the london skyline from the milleneum bridge photo by shutterstock.