NatWest opens first London entrepreneur hub
Written by Anthony Strzalek
NatWest, in partnership with Entrepreneurial Spark – the world’s largest free business accelerator, has officially opened its first incubator hub in London.
FStech was invited to the event which saw a host of startups covering a broad range of industries, including finance and technology, descend on NatWest’s Regents House innovation centre in Angel.
The accelerator, which is being run in partnership with KPMG, Del EMC and Pinsent Masons, will be home to more than 100 of the capital’s most inspiring entrepreneurs, who will be given free office space and facilities, business advice, entrepreneurial enabling support and access to business and support networks.
A host of startups exhibited on the day and there were speeches from Ross McEwan, the CEO of NatWest, as well as the deputy mayor of London for business, Rajesh Angrawal, and entrepreneur and the latest Dragon on the new series of Dragon’s Den, Jenny Campbell.
Five selected startups were also given 60 seconds to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, with the winner receiving a £1,000 cheque. The winning pitch went to CareChooser, a company which allows users to browse and pick their personal home carers.
The Entrepreneurial Spark programme began in Birmingham in 2015 and has since grown to 13 hubs covering all four UK nations, helping in excess of 4,000 startups to date.
Alison Rose, CEO of commercial and private banking at NatWest, said: “We’re so excited to be opening the capital’s first Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator in Regents House, which adds to our already established network of 12 free accelerator hubs, giving us full coverage across the UK. We are committed to playing our role in supporting the UK’s future business leaders and that together with Entrepreneurial Spark, we are giving them the best possible chance to succeed.”
Entrepreneurial Spark CEO, Lucy-Rose Walke, added: “Our world-class business support focuses on the mindset and behaviours of the entrepreneurial leader, so we’re delighted to bring this unique brand of enablement to London.
“Our 12 other hubs which we operate with NatWest have had serious and significant economic impact right across all four nations of the UK. Our businesses have created over 3,000 jobs and landed over £151 million in investment.
“To add London, arguably the world’s greatest business ecosystem, to our disruptive and revolutionary approach is exceptionally exciting. We can’t wait to start making a difference to these constantly inspiring entrepreneurs.”