The UK’s largest supermarket is looking to capitalise on London’s technology entrepreneurs through a start-up incubator on the fringe of Tech City, next to Tower Bridge.
Tesco announced in a blog post at the end of last week that it will sponsor The Loft in St Katherine’s Docks, which opened at the start of July and is currently home to about 60 young media and technology developers, according to The Guardian.
"We provide financial support to set up the infrastructure and in return we get to draw on the collective creativity of the entrepreneurs and technologists there from time to time," Robin Terrell, multi-channel director at Tesco, wrote on the company's blog.
The idea is to bring Tesco into contact with "the innovators creating products for a generation of customers who will shop quite differently from their parents”.
The 10,000 square foot, not-for-profit facility is said to be able to accommodate up to 170 technology entrepreneurs looking for desk space, support and collaborative partners. Those wishing to secure a desk at The Loft will have to pay £299 plus VAT per desk per month.
Rainmaking, the company behind the Loft, is founded by a team of nine entrepreneurs spread across Copenhagen, London and Berlin who between them have a portfolio of 10 companies including Startupbootcamp, Venture Scout and Smartlaunch.
The vast majority of London’s digital start-ups can be found concentrated around 'Silicon Roundabout' in Shoreditch but several other areas are starting to see their own tech clusters develop as high rents force companies to look elsewhere. For example, Borough and Bermondsey in south east London became home to 5,190 start-ups last year according to accountancy group UHY Hacker Young this July.