Words by Marija Butkovic (@MarijaButkovic)
Plexal, Europe’s largest innovation centre for technology startups and corporations based at Here East within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic park, has officially launched!
Designed as a mini city using principles of modern urban planning and technology clusters, Plexal is dedicated to providing a world-class holistic suite of business services: innovation and accelerator programmes, in-house professional services (legal, accounting, marketing, etc.), entrepreneurship training, personal development programmes, mentorship, industry-leading events and much more. Spanning 68,000 square feet, it will support technology start-ups and global corporations from across the world.
Plexal’s initial focus is supporting makers developing products & services in emerging technologies, including wearables, smart cities, AR, VR, cyber security, IoT, sport and health, while its core mission is to create the workplace of the future, foster entrepreneurship and innovation, particularly in industries that benefit from greater competition and collaboration between start-ups and corporates.
Plexal was officially opened on June 12 by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to mark the launch of London Tech Week 2017. London Tech Week is a festival of events, taking place across the city, showcasing and celebrating the the best of technology ecosystem whilst providing networking, social, learning and business opportunities. This years LTW was organised by founding partners KNect365, London & Partners and Tech London Advocates, with support from strategic partners Tech City UK, ExCeL London, DIT and techUK.
We had the opportunity to attend Plexal’s launch event with most prominent technology startups, investors, media and and corporate innovation teams from all over the UK, and briefly interview Claire Cockerton, CEO and founder of Plexal and London Tech Week ambassador.
Claire, what is your main focus for the next few months and how do you see Plexal grow?
The next few months are all about bringing the space to life. The community of 125 pop up members are already part of Plexal and on July 1 we will open our doors to new members who have registered for either a private office, dedicated desk or hot desk in our coworking space. At full occupancy, the centre will connect up to 800 members and organisations.
The Global Disability Innovation Hub is part of Plexal. Tell us little bit more about that and why is this hub so unique?
Today, we have also launched the world’s first Global Disability Innovation Hub, a new global research centre bringing together the top minds in disability innovation through collaboration, technology, partnerships and study to improve the lives of disabled people worldwide. With this program, and in collaboration with UCL, we want to incubate ideas around assistive technology, accessible urban living and data analytics to support the disability innovation movement, and bring together academics, disability experts and designers to improve the lives of the world’s one billion disabled people through technology, co-design and innovation.
Read our full interview with Claire Cockerton from February 2017 here.
To celebrate the launch of Plexal, the brand new innovation destination for technology startups, scale ups and entrepreneurs at Here East, Stratford, WoW members have been given 50% discount for one month's hot desk space for either July or August. This means you only pay £110 plus VAT for one month's membership (reduced from £220). This offer must be taken up between 1st July and 1st August only so members get the full 4 weeks (but only between the months of July and August).
To apply for this exclusive offer, come and meet Plexal team to find out more about the benefits of membership at one of two VIP tour dates for WoW members at 7pm on either 28th June or 5th July.
To book your place on a tour, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unable to attend the event but would like to use the special offer, please email email@example.com using WOWVIP to apply for your discount hot desk membership.
Please visit www.plexal.com for more information about the full benefits of being a Plexal member.
* This post was sponsored by Plexal and was written by Marija Butkovic, Digital Marketing and PR strategist, co-founder of Women of Wearables and Kisha Smart Umbrella. She regularly writes and speaks on topics of wearable tech, fashion tech, IoT, entrepreneurship and diversity. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on writer's personal view. Visit marijabutkovic.co.uk or follow Marija on Twitter @MarijaButkovic @Women_Wearables @GetKisha.