Club Workspace, London’s largest co-working space provider, opened its new flagship facility near London Bridge today and announced its largest tenant to date in the form of UK graduate start-up accelerator, Entrepreneur First.
Entrepreneur First — which counts Microsoft, Silicon Valley Bank and the City of London corporation among its core sponsors — aims to turn some of the UK's most talented students into founders of high-growth tech start-ups.
It is hoped that the move will provide the 30 graduates on the programme with an opportunity to collaborate with other entrepreneurs in the Club Workspace network.
“We see this as an ideal place to build the next round of Entrepreneur First startups and to help them grow," said co-founder Matt Clifford. "The fact that we’re working in an environment alongside a number of exciting start-ups and entrepreneurs really adds to the creative buzz in the Club Workspace campus.”
Before gaining a place on the exclusive programme, which used to run out of Google Campus in Tech City, each individual must go through three separate interviews with a successful entrepreneur, an investor and the founders of Entrepreneur First.
A total of 600 people applied to join the programme last year, but only 31 were chosen. Once selected for the programme, the graduates spend six months building a team, developing an idea and accelerating their businesses to the stage where they could take seed funding.
James Friedenthal, managing director of Club Workspace said: “Our centres are home to communities of fast growing businesses many of whom trade and collaborate with each other and we hope that being part of this will help these cohorts as they grow and develop their own ventures.
“Built around a network of venues based in established business centre locations, with bespoke space designed to encourage collaboration, high-speed connectivity as well as a wealth of regular events (and great coffee), our atmospheres encourage and allow businesses to flourish.”
The co-working space, near London Bridge station in the Victorian-built Leathermarket building, is just one of Club Workspace’s London bases. Others include Chancery Lane, Clerkenwell, Bankside, Kennington and Chiswick but over the next year the company said it will expand to Bethnal Green, Islington, Borough, Dulwich and Ladbroke Grove.