7 reasons why London is a great place for a startup
Every day someone's startup dream becomes reality. And what happens when it does? This manifestation of desperate prayers, hard work, and VC funding needs a place to live. London happens to be the perfect place. The UK’s capital is a melting pot of diverse cultures, talented professionals, and creative workspaces, making it a great spot for startups looking for the perfect motivational environment (although we might be a bit biased).
1. There’s access to great talent
Some of the best universities in the world are in London, or just outside. University College London, King's College London, London School of Economics, and Imperial College London are churning out talented graduates into the Capital every year - all enthusiastic, wanting to sink their teeth into something new and exciting. Oxford and Cambridge are just a stone’s throw away too, full of capable students perhaps already trying out business ideas from their halls bedrooms. London is a concentrated hotbed of graduates and young professionals just waiting for their chance to join a fun company that’s going places.
2. It’s a global city
Huge global brands operate in London and it’s easy to see why. For one, the sheer amount of different cultures in London is astounding - and with this comes great people to meet and cuisines, events, and activities to experience. Living and working in a multicultural and vibrant city means there are endless sources of inspiration around and a variety of perspectives to consider, which is very helpful when you're just starting out.
Also if your company works internationally, London provides a variety of bilingual, if not trilingual, job candidates to consider with language skills ranging from French and Spanish to Bahasa and Tagalog. With five major airports, you are also very well connected to the rest of the world, making overseas business trips easy and the allure of a company trip away that much more tempting.
3. It’s easy to do
The UK actively encourages startups by offering everything from financial support schemes, to entrepreneurship visas. Grants for small businesses might involve jumping through hoops but it’s well worth the effort if you can get through the paperwork. Even with Brexit in the mix, it doesn't seem to be causing any major hiccups (so far). Here is a great list of business grants available in the UK for anyone who needs an initial idea of where to look.
4. Investors are everywhere
Speaking of venture capital investors, they are all over the UK Capital. As London becomes more and more of a startup hub, it attracts a greater number of people looking to pour their money into the next big thing. London startups have gained $34 billion in investment since 2016 and this number will only grow as more up-and-coming businesses draw in the attention of investors. Can London's lucrative startup culture convince you to set up shop here too?
5. There are opportunities for exposure
As a new startup, one of the best things for a boost is the right exposure. With all the newspapers and magazines that operate in London, you are spoilt for choice as to which you should target. And because London is a recognised startup hub, there are opportunities to be featured in countless publications (both online and in print) that specialise in localised startup news. While you might be fighting against tougher competition than in other cities, you will also reap greater rewards by putting yourself on the map in this great city.
6. There’s a growing community
The community of entrepreneurs in London is arguably its most attractive asset. The city is so vast that there are startup haunts dotted all around the city - the largest being Old Street in East London. If you are the kind of person who thrives from having the innovation and motivation around you, then London can certainly supply you with that. No startup is an island, so whether you take advantage of networking events, shared office spaces, or even just bumping into another entrepreneur at the local coffee shop, you and your business will benefit significantly from the London community.
7. London is fun
A huge part of the startup scene is the emphasis on company culture. While we know that this means a lot more than a beer fridge and ping pong in the office, there is no harm in indulging in weird and exciting company nights out. London has a constant stream of pop-up bars and one-off events that are perfect for any team that wants to focus on work/life balance. And don’t forget how easy entertaining clients becomes when you have hundreds of novel restaurants with a variety of cuisines to choose from.
Getting your business off the ground in the first place is the hardest part, so why not make it easier for yourself by building your startup in a place that encourages success and entrepreneurship in all its forms?
BrighterBox is the link between graduates and startups in London. Check us out here and get in touch if you need bright grads to help grow your business.
*Editor's note: This blog was originally published in 2016 and has since been updated.