London’s Canary Wharf Group has opened a third dedicated space to technology startups as part of its Level39 initiative.
The new High Growth Space: 24 is a 25,000ft2 space on the 24th floor, which will join Level39, which opened in March 2013, and High Growth Space: 42, which opened in September 2014.
The fintech accelerator launched nearly two years ago at One Canada Square in London’s financial district to provide a workspace for technology startups focused on financial technology services, retail technology and future cities technology.
The first two spaces are now more than 95% occupied, creating the need for expansion into High Growth Space: 24.
“A collaborative working environment is a crucial factor in enabling high-growth companies to achieve their potential,” said Eric Van der Kleij, head of Level39. “With over 160 tech companies now based at Level39 and High Growth Space: 42, we remain committed to delivering the right type of spaces and support for technology companies to succeed.”
Accenture’s 2015 Fintech Innovation Lab will be one of the first occupants of the new space, to be joined by another 36 tech companies participating in the Cognicity Challenge and IBM. Other fintech and smart cities startups will also use the space, aimed at maturing high-growth startups which have graduated from the Level39 accelerator, including AMP, Fingenius, Kusiri, Recipco, Digital Shadows, Growth Intelligence, TransferGo and Prophis.
Derek White, chief design officer at Barclays – which has also jumped on the startup bandwagon, launching its own fintech accelerator in East London last year – said the financial services industry is facing massive disruption.
“Technology is a major driver of that, much of which is coming from the entrepreneur ecosystem,” he told Computer Weekly in June 2014. “Emerging technologies will transform our industry.”
White said the influx of startups is changing the way traditional IT suppliers do business with banks. He pointed out that big, established suppliers are starting to talk about how they can act more nimbly and innovate and disrupt themselves.
Large suppliers are even asking Barclays for advice on how to become more agile after the bank launched its mobile service PingIt in just seven months. “We have articulated the model as to how we acted as a startup internally to disrupt ourselves and we’re starting to industrialise that,” said White.
“They’re changing their engagement models with us as they seek to become more agile themselves,” he said. “I can count five large technology companies, all of the names you would imagine, which have come to Barclays and asked how we are doing it.”