Everyone has to start somewhere, and before you and your tech empire can commandeer Salesforce Tower you'll need to find workspaces that are affordable but close to the action.
The beauty of EC1’s start-up culture is that everyone knows firsthand what young businesses need: collaboration, innovation and, more often than not, just some good business advice.
The area has responded to its community's needs and co-working spaces have popped up all over the borough to nurture the new creative and technological scene that EC1’s become known for.
Whether you’re looking to set up there or just want to spend some time working up close and personal with tech’s hottest new talent, we’ve put together a list of the top hot-desking spaces in Tech City.
5 Bonhill St,
Opening hours: 9am-5.30pm
The granddaddy of all start-ups, Google is giving back to the next generation by creating a seven-storey "engine for collaborative innovation" in Shoreditch. To that end, in addition to offering workspaces, Campus London regularly hosts events, networking evenings and workshops. Most useful of all are Google Office Hours, where start-ups can get expert advice from current Google employees, and Campus Edu, an educational platform providing insight and guidance on how to run a business.
TechHub Old Street
207 Old Street
Also with a location at Campus London, TechHub has a workspace in Old Street for technology start-ups. The focus is on networking and collaboration, with events and talks organised regularly. It prides itself on creating an environment where entrepreneurs can just drop in or get down to work. Past guests include Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales, One Laptop per Child founder Nicholas Negroponte, Eric Schmidt and Tim Ferriss.
TechHub also has location across Europe, and so workers setting up here benefit from international experience in a centralised location.
6-8 Bonhill Street
With a new Shoreditch location, Central Working expects to help over 22,000 businesses over the next five years by offering permanent and by-the-day desk space for new businesses and freelancers. Created by the founder of a start-up himself, James Layfield’s ethos is geared towards the ‘co-working revolution, and Central Working assesses members’ areas of expertise and connects them with other members who complement their business.
1.03 The Tea Building
56 Shoreditch High Street
Marketing agency Albion has devoted part of its enviable location to a co-working space, used both by its own client-agency teams and external start-ups such as Transferwise. Setting up here combines attractive office space with the benefit of top marketing insight from Albion, who have helped grow some of Europe’s top start-ups such as Skype, Innocent and King. There’s also the potential of raising capital – Albion has been known to co-invest in its clients’ businesses.
The Office Group
Locations across Shoreditch, Farringdon and The City
The most flexible of the list, The Office Group has several locations across London and has acquired prime real estate in Shoreditch, Farringdon and The City to serve the numerous small businesses and freelancers who have set up in the area. The group offers a variety of options to suit new business needs, from short-term meeting rooms to virtual offices. Also on offer is a ClubRoom, designed specifically for drop-in hot-desking and nurturing the co-working environment that gives EC1 its uniqueness.
For workers who want to reap the benefits of the area but can’t relocate, the group’s virtual membership option will base your business at a permanent location without the need to be there.
1 Westgate Street
London E8 3RL
Just north of EC1, Netil House is one of the most creative collaborative workspaces in London, as well as being home to one of the best rooftop bars. Residents include graphic designers, writers, photographers, sound engineers and architects. Netil House regularly collaborates with other co-working spaces in the area on exhibitions, events and talks, making it one of the best innovation hubs in East London.
Netil House was founded and is built & managed by Creative Network Partners who also operate Hackney Downs Studios, Netil Market, The Russet and Netil 360.