London is truly one of the most alive and kicking cities in the world, and arguably the most diverse. The English capital is not only a key player in economic and political spheres, but also encompasses an eclectic mix of grandiose architecture and tradition on the one hand, with a vibrant and charmingly quirky cultural scene on the other.
While London has long been hailed a popular tourist destination, the financial capital is now establishing itself as a leader in a new arena: the startup world. Since Mayor Boris Johnson launched the Tech City Initiative in 2010, the city’s digital technology sector has grown by 46%. London offers everything a startup needs to thrive, both creatively and financially, so it’s little wonder that would-be entrepreneurs are making it their city of choice.
London is indeed fostering the talent of some of the future business superstars of our time, a fact that was celebrated at the second annual London Technology Week which took place at The Shard in June this year, where London was described as “the epicenter of start-ups.”
Founded in London in 2012 and heralded as the UK’s fastest growing technology company by The Next Web in 2015, the YPlan app makes it easy for Londoners and tourists alike to be a part of the seemingly limitless cultural scene. In a city where there is so much to do, it is sometimes impossible to stay ahead of the curve. YPlan lets you search by event, area, or venue, and also offers a number of different categories to choose from, ranging from theatre to food to sports, it’s easy to narrow it down to your area of interest. YPlan caters to London’s more spontaneous side, with a simple in-app booking process and no physical ticket needed.
Perhaps one of the most simple yet genius ideas to come out of the startup scene, Commuterclub is the brainchild of two Londoners who understand only too well just how expensive travelling in the city can be. Established in 2013, it aims to make annual travel cards available to all, minus the lump-sum payment. Through Commuterclub, commuters can benefit from the savings of buying a yearly travel card, but in manageable monthly instalments. With fixed and transparent payment plans and substantial savings to be made, we don’t doubt that this will fast become a must-have for all Londoners.
As one of the largest capital cities, there is always something new to be discovered – whether you’re a tourist or a long-time Londoner. Navigating the labyrinth that is London’s tube and train network can therefore be tough, and this is where the founders of Citymapper drew their inspiration. Since its birth in London in 2010, the app has already gained coveted recognition from giants in the tech world, with Apple naming Citymapper as one of its Apps of the Year in both 2013 and 2014. Again, it’s merely a matter of time before this is a staple for being London-savvy.
For budding entrepreneurs who are inspired by this vibrant city and the pioneering ideas to come out of it, there are many ways to get involved without relocating. A website is all you need to get started and, with cheap domain registration available through various hosting sites such as this one, founding your startup need not break the bank – after all, most of us don’t have a wealth of investors at our disposal. Tech.London was started by Boris Johnson in a bid to cultivate the London startup community online, and is a great way to keep up with all the news, trends, events and jobs in the London startup scene, from wherever you are in the world.