Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message


DMH - the techpreneur

David Murray-Hundley

Gearing up to become the best: Level 39

Article comments

I remember going to Canary Wharf in the early 90’s and thinking that there was not a lot there.

I remember going to Canary Wharf in the early 90’s and thinking that there was not a lot there. In fact, in 1991, there were only 6 shops. Now there are some 200 shops in 60 odd very big buildings, housing some very big companies. I remember really wanting to work in one of those buildings; it was like something you saw in the movies. I went to New York instead.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Eric Van de Kliej, whom I had met previously through mentoring at Tech City. To say that I was impressed by him telling me about what’s currently happening and the plans for the future of Level 39 at One Canada Square would be an understatement. 

First of all, the Level 39 accelerator is about complimenting Tech City, not trying to compete with it. Van de Kliej, who is leading the Level 39 project, speaks very fondly of the work happening at Tech City or Tech City 2.0 (as he calls it) and its next phase with Joanna Shields taking the helm.

I have always thought that the tech world needed a Shoreditch House type solution.  The plan for Level 39 at One Canada Square is to turn 29,000 square feet into “Europe’s biggest financial services technology space” with some of Shoreditch’s flare and general coolness.

I stood by one of the windows looking out onto the capital and thought to myself, that this is a place, whether you are working with a start-up or growing business, where you are going to love turning up to work. It reminded me of when I lived in Battery Park City in New York; I was a tech geek wearing jeans and a Rally jacket, walking around Wall Street and the World Trade Center, thinking that I want a piece of this. But I also wanted individuality.

Looking at the plans, there is so much on offer at Level 39. A 200-seat auditorium that can be used by any business who has a membership. A boardroom and hot desk areas where the ceilings have been taken down to give them an urban feel. There is also going to be a ‘Virgin Clubhouse’ area and sandbox areas for testing technology in a secure environment.  Architects Gensier who worked on workspaces for both and Facebook and Google have been involved in the design of the 39th floor. 

The technology infrastructure for the whole 29,000 square feet is very impressive and will enable companies raising cash or working to tight budgets to expand by eliminating some of the typically associated high costs. One of my suggestions was to create an ecosystem of people’s skills. For example, if you need a project manager for a couple of days or a Cisco specialist, people could swap time and not pay for it.

Mentoring will take place at agreed times during the week to further encourage business development.  There is already an impressive list of mentors that are likely to take part in this initiative who all carry some extremely inspiring track records. 

The list of supporting accelerator funds that are also coming into Level 39 is pretty impressive.  Obviously with focus on the ‘Fintech’ space, you won’t be surprised to see the list includes big names from the Finance world.

No doubt people will be sceptical. There may also be those that feel threatened. For me, personally, I see an opportunity for Tech City, the M4 Corridor and the UK to be strengthened and for us to start creating a stronger message and perception to the world - we do not just aspire to be a Silicon Valley.

Enhanced by Zemanta


More from Techworld

More relevant IT news


Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *