Pssst. Did you know? You’re reading the 2016 London Startup Guide. For an updated version, check out our 2018 London startup guide.
Introduction: London Startup Guide
While not as large as the tech startup capitals in the USA, London has a burgeoning entrepreneurial eco-system that leads the European Market, larger than Amsterdam or Berlin. The city supports a culture of creativity and innovation that allows new businesses to be born and to flourish, and creates opportunities for individuals to grow and develop into game-changers and industry leaders.
With fierce competition to lead development between different areas in the city, a plethora of co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators, and a fast-paced culture that combines social time with learning and networking opportunities, London has a lot to offer potential startups and their employees. However, the amount of options available can be confusing and overwhelming.
With this in mind, we’ve created a need to know guide to the London startup scene – the top businesses, spaces, networks and influencers have been included for a comprehensive introduction to the capitals thriving industry. For those in non-tech positions, consider this your roadmap to finding the greatest places to work, the most important people to follow, and the best startup jobs in London.
An Overview of the London Startup Ecosystem
London Startups in Numbers
- 4000+ startups
- 70+ coworking spaces
- 251,590 digital jobs, expected to increase by 46,000 in the next ten years
- 36+ startup incubators and accelerators, including Europe’s largest FinTech incubator – Level 39- and Pi Labs, Europe’s First Property Tech accelerator
- £98 million in VC financing in the first 6 months of 2016
London Startup Hubs
No longer based only around Shoreditch and the Silicon Roundabout, London has been taken over by a city wide startup revolution.
- The Silicon Roundabout – Shoreditch/Moorgate
- Camden & Kentish Town
- Kings Cross & Euston (Internet of Things, Digital Media, Data)
- Canary Wharf (FinTech)
- Olympic Village (HereEast)
- Croydon (fastest growing digital hub – Software Development and Creative Media)
Top Co-working Spaces
- The Office Group
- Google Campus
- Impact Hub
- The Cube
- Rainmaking Loft
- Runway East
- The Greenhouse N76
To find great co-working spaces, offices and desks in London, check out Hubble, a London based startup connecting entrepreneurs with the space they need to succeed.
Top London Incubators and Accelerators
- Ignite 100
- The Bakery
- Accelerator Academy
- The Sandpit
- Level 39
- Pi Labs
- Entrepreneur First
London’s Billion Dollar Unicorns
The United Kindgom leads the race for billion dollar valuation in Europe, with London holding top honours with 12 out of 17 unicorn startups based out of the capital.
- ASOS – an online platform engaged in the retail of fashion and beauty products for men and women.
- JustEat – the world’s leader in online takeaway ordering.
- Skrill – an e-commerce platform that facilitates online payment transactions for businesses and individuals.
- Wonga – an online payday lender that offers short-term personal cash loans to UK consumers.
- Zoopla – provides accurate house price estimates available in the UK market by leveraging user-generated data.
- Farfetch – brings together independent fashion boutiques to provide a wide selection of elegant brands and styles.
- Transferwise – a money transfer service allowing private individuals & businesses to send money abroad without hidden charges
- Shazam -a media engagement company, offers an app that connects people to the music, TV shows and ads they love
- Funding Circle – the world’s leading online marketplace for business loans, matching businesses who want to borrow with investors.
- Markit Group – a financial information services company helping businesses improve operational efficiency and meet regulatory requirement
- Powa – an international commerce specialist that creates technologies to seamlessly integrate the physical and digital world.
- Rightmove – a property website enabling home movers to find details of properties available to buy and rent in UK.
Networking and Learning: London Startups
London Startup Events Hosted By 3Beards
- Silicon Drinkabout – Weekly networking meetup for startups and techies.
- Don’t Pitch Me Bro – Monthly demo night for early stage startups.
- Chew the Fat – Conversations with high profile entrepreneurs, VC’s and founders
- Girls in Tech UK – supporting and raising the visibility of women in technology, entrepreneurship and innovation through monthly events, leadership programmes
Use these sites for updates on current startup events across London:
- Launch22 Startup Events
- Google Campus Events
- Startup Grind
- Blooming Founders
Best Resources for London Startup News and Trends
People to follow:
- HE HELPS STARTUPS: Jonathan Roomer – KPMG Startup Lead, ex-founder and actuary, he assists early-stage and high-growth companies succeed by providing contacts, guidance, advice and mentoring: @jonathanroomer
- THE FINTECH GUY: Nektarious Liolis – Co-Founder & CEO Startupbootcamp FinTech: @nekliolios
- THE FOODTECH GAL: Olga Astaniotis—Ex-founder at The Olive Grows and member of The London Food Board. Specialist in food, hospitality, fashion and retail sectors: @oliveolga
- HE KNOWS ABOUT STARTUP EVENTS: Michael Hobson—Entrepreneur and founder of the London networking events company 3 beards, a company focused on helping and growing the global tech startup community: @imhobson
- FINTECH & INSURTECH NINJA: Elizabeth Lumley—Director of Global Ecosystem Development, Startupbootcamp Fintech & InsurTech programs. Well-established global conference speaker: @lizlum
- STARTUP FUNDS JEDI: Ginhouse P. Barnard—CEO at Ignite, an angel-led acceleration fund supporting founders across the UK and Europe. Angel investor and startup advisor: @paul_a_smith
- NEED A LAWYER? Daniel van Binsbergen—co-founder and CEO at Lexoo helping startups compare and find the right lawyers: @dvanbis
Non-tech Careers in London Startups
As we discussed in this article, non-tech jobs contribute greatly to startups, even if they aren’t actually technical in nature. For example, 6/10 of all London startup jobs listed on Angel.co are for non-tech positions. When we dive deeper into London’s tech startups existing workforce the stats speak for themselves; in startups with 500+ employees, 74% hold non-tech positions, while startups that have <100 to 500 employees report that an average of 73% are non-tech.
London Startups hiring marketing, operations, sales and account management positions through RiseHigh:
- TransferWise – one of London’s aforementioned billion dollar unicorns in the FinTech sector.
- GoCardless – a UK-based online direct debit provider.
- IWOCA – provides short-term finance to SMEs based in the UK, Poland, Spain and Germany.
- Bloomon – a rapidly growing e-commerce start-up.
- Zeal – a holding company specialized in the area of online lottery.
- StreetBees – providing on-the-ground intelligence and customer insights.
- Stuart – speeding up the way local goods are transported in a city.
Hottest Non-tech Startup Jobs London
- Content Strategist
- Business Development Lead
- UX/UI Designer
- Community Manager
- Customer Success Agent
- Growth Hacker
Where to Find Startup Jobs
Specific Non-tech Startup Jobs
- RiseHigh – top non-tech jobs in London startups. Marketing, sales, account management and operation roles
General Startup Job boards
- Work in Startups
- Unicorn Hunt
- London Startup Jobs
And in the future…
The London startup scene is forever changing, growing and morphing as new technologies are created, demands for space and skills increase and new generations of entrepreneurs start their journey from Europe’s startup capital. However one thing is for sure – the city and it’s digital industry will only continue to grow, and with it opportunities for all passionate and ambitious startup employees, and those wanting to transition into the world of innovation and new ventures.
Looking for startup jobs in London? New openings for non tech positions in marketing, account management and sales. Join in 5 minutes and get recommended to founders and CMO’s. RiseHigh.co
Did we miss something? Tweet us @RiseHighHQ and we’ll add it where relevant!
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