I just got back from a month in the UK, where we launched the first-ever Techstars program in London. It was an amazing time of meeting with the startup community there and getting Techstars’ international presence off the ground. The startup scene in London is incredibly vibrant and I think people would be astounded by how much is happening there.
The Techstars offices are right in the midst of the action at Warner Yard, a new co-working space where startup founders and investors work, interact and connect. Warner yard was founded by Federico Pirzio-Biroli of Playfair Capital, who is also a Techstars investor and mentor.
As always, it was a privilege to meet and work with the 11 startups participating in the program. They are all hard at work on their companies, meeting with mentors and preparing for Demo Day in September.
We greatly appreciate IDEO and their involvement and contributions to the Techstars program in London and many of our other locations, and we really enjoyed the amazing workshop presented by Iain Roberts and Tom Hulme. The presentation explored the importance of purpose, customers, research and testing hypotheses.
There are definitely some unique challenges involved with expanding outside of your own country, and you need to have someone who can help navigate the legal and cultural environment. We have been incredibly fortunate to have Jon Bradford as Managing Director of Techstars in London. I met Jon a few years ago when he was launching The Difference Engine in Newcastle. I observed his commitment to the startups and noticed how he prioritized giving first and the importance of startup communities. He later moved to London and built Springboard before focusing on Techstars there. Jon is doing great work and playing a critical role in developing the startup community in London. He has also been an important contributor to the Mentor Manifesto.
It’s exciting to have Techstars branching out and expanding outside the US, and it’s just been great to see how excited the community here is about it. Expect to see more and more great things from the London startup community in the months and years to come.