First Pearson, now Google sponsors London's TechHub for startups

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Google has now joined global publisher Pearson to become one of the first founding sponsors of TechHub, a new co-working space and innovation centre for technology start-up companies in central London. The space has a launch party on Friday and officially opens on Monday 12 July.

It would appear Pearson came on board to tap into startup talent, but for Google the TechHub project is clearly of interest as a way to enliven the developer scene. Google’s Reto Meier, Android developer advocate, says Google is supporting TechHub’s aim to provide developers and budding tech entrepreneurs with “an affordable, buzzing and creative working environment.” It can’t hurt that TechHub will play host to developer meetups and there are plans for a device room / hackspace with lots of goodies in it.

TechHub launches next week on July 12 and has finally revealed its location: the ground floor of 76-80 City Rd, 10 seconds from the Old Street Tube station, here, slap bang in London’s “Silicon Roundabout” cluster of tech companies.

TechHub may just be what a few continental European entrepreneurs have been looking for. At least 20-30% of seed and venture capital spent in Europe comes out of London and plenty of European startups prefer to register as companies in the UK. But London itself is an expensive place for a startup to get an office or have some kind of footprint. So TechHub (@TechHub on Twitter) may help solve this problem with a mixture of flexible “drop-in co-working” for members at £300 per year and permanent deskspace for £275 per month.

Started by entrepreneur Elizabeth Varley (CEO) and TechCrunch Europe editor Mike Butcher (director of strategy), it’s been building momentum for the last few months. So, we’re glad that Mike’s banging on about it for the couple of years is finally leading to some results.

There are of course other shared office facilities in London, but TechHub’s focus on the flexible/mobile tech community appears to be laser-like – with an uncontended fibre 100 mbs up/down leased line, device room, space for conference-style events, meeting rooms and full-time hosts to book cabs and hotels etc. for visitors.

  • Tony Zelinko

    I like Elizabeth’s approach. I bet “Dollars to Doughnuts”. She used her social media contacts to get the word out that this high-tech free-thinking space was available for all “techies to hang out” in London, then she probably just let the pot stew until the techies were to ready to sign on and move in.
    I’m not sure if this is how it unfolded but I got to hand it to her and Mike. I would suspect Google is looking at this as a trial and what will probably happen if this location is successful I’m sure you will see many more mini-tech hubs spring up around the World.

  • David Bonilla

    Congratulations for the Opening. Nothing comparable in Madrid, Spain.

    Do you know if Elizabeth is looking for local partners? :)

  • http://CityandOut AndreaF

    Looking to build the Italian hub, 9 months a year in Milan, 3 months in the South.
    Let me know if you’re interested in partnering.

  • Paul

    Way to go Elizabeth!!

    Looking forward to the party ….. :-)

  • @chrisco

    Congrats! What city is next? :) I nominate Gothenburg or Stockholm.

  • Ben

    I noticed are in a similar space but don’t have the sponsorship clout! I wonder if these companies will produce any famous startups…

  • Geoff Butler

    HoxtonMix is not similar – it’s a web agency called Solid State Group renting some spare desks it couldn’t fill to a bunch of “creatives”. Not the same thing.

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  • David Symons

    Great idea, shame they can’t get back to me about the deskspace. Ignoring emails and twitter @’s isn’t a good way to start business – especially as they are offering a service.

    I am really keen on this, especially as I only live up the road, but no point if noone can be bothered to run it professionally.

  • Susan

    Congrats to Elizabeth and her team at TechHub! It’s always a joy to see more coworking spaces open worldwide. If you’re ever interested in joining in the conversation about coworking worldwide, you can start your journey at It’s a website bought by the community for the community. Sweet stuff!

  • Elizabeth Varley

    Thanks all! Very exciting times.

    Yes we’re looking at other locations and will be looking for interest and feedback on other cities in the the next couple of months.

    @David Symons, apologies we haven’t come back to you. It’s been a hugely busy time, but that’s no excuse. I’ll follow up on this personally and will be in touch very soon.

  • Andrew J Scott

    This is #awesome .. congrats to Elizabeth and Mike on making it a reality i know it has been a long road and hard work.

    I wasnt aware of the mobile centric nature of the space, but it makes perfect sense; it’s the future. Great that @Reto is supporting this.

    @david bonilla Check out

    • David Bonilla

      @Andrew J Scott

      Hi Andy,

      I know Studio Banana and I think that It’s great… but it’s not comparable to something like Techhub.

      First, ‘cos It’s a little bit small (20 places)
      Second, because they don’t have public prices in their web :(

      Anyway, Thanks for the tip !

  • David Symons

    @Elizabeth no worries, was just trying a little bit of impatience, and I’ve received the response I wanted! ;)

    I think too many years outside of Australia and living in London has destroyed my faith in customer service!

    Many thanks.

  • Dave Nattriss

    Congrats on the sponsorship!

    But… how can TechHub be described as ‘affordable’ when there are no pay as you go options? £300 (membership) ex. VAT + £10 ex. VAT for a desk for just one day is not at all affordable. Sure, it works out long-term if you’re going to be using TechHub a lot, but what if you only need it a few days a month when in town?

  • David Symons

    @Dave Nattriss .. this is from the website ..

    Cost: £275 +VAT per month, per membership (one desk) “

    • Dave Nattriss

      @David Symons Sure, that’s if I want a desk for a whole month. But what if I just want it for a day or two each month? I have to pay £300 membership plus £10 each time. At once a month, that works out to £420 ex. VAT, which is £35 per visit. Not what I call affordable!

      I’d like a £10 or £15 ex. VAT all-in daily pay as you go rate, like other similar places do. Having to commit to a year’s membership up front is not easy if you’re a start-up or a freelancer – even if it were broken down to £30/month (instead of £300/year) that might help.

  • Matthew Ogston

    We’re very much looking forward to moving in to our new space at TechHub as a founder member.

    Having both Google and Pearson on board helps build credibility a great deal. I think we’ll see a few more similar shared working spaces crop up over the next 12 months.

  • moboff

    Way to go for TechHub!
    Now how can I get Google to sponsor our coworking space in Tokyo???

  • David Symons

    @Dave Nattriss

    what are you smoking? because whatever it is, can I please have some? ;)

    The website says it is a one off payment of £300 (annual) + the £10 for booking. So, in theory, this could work for you and your 4 times a month will only be £40 or so.

    • Dave Nattriss

      Sorry but who said I wanted to go 4 times a month? What if I only want to go once a year? That’s £310 for the visit. Or even once a month, it works out to £35 a visit, assuming you’ve planned out your next 12 months of activity (I know that I haven’t!).

      I’d just like a simple pay as you go day rate for non-members at, say, £15. Not to be forced into stumping up £300 for a service I may only end up using once.

    • Dave Nattriss

      P.S. 4 times a month still works out at £65/month including the membership, though you have to pay up the £300 membership on day 1, not over the course of the year. This is not ‘affordable’, it’s only for those who have deep pockets and can afford to invest in a whole year’s membership in one go.

  • David Symons

    @Dave Nattriss .. I think you’re missing the point of what TechHub are offering. You’re complaining about them not having a product which suits your requirements, but noone is asking you to go with TechHub. It doesn’t make sense to me why anyone would want to hire desk space to only use for one or two days a month.. you’d be better off going to Starbucks or a public Wi-Fi hot spot in that case!

    All I can suggest is that you look elsewhere for hot swap desks where you can pay as you go.. if you only want to go one day a year, then maybe it is better off you just work from home!

    • Dave Nattriss

      Actually my complaint was simply that they are calling themselves ‘affordable’ when they currently ask for annual membership payments up front instead of offering actually affordable options.

      Why would I want to have an actual office desk only once or twice a month? For exactly the same reason I would if I used it more often. Sure, I can go to Starbucks or McDonalds etc. but that’s missing the point of using a co-working space like TechHub (I doubt there’d be anyone in McDs who I’d have anything in common with or who might be a potential client), and you don’t get actual work desks or guaranteed wi-fi and power.

      If I was able to use TechHub (I can’t because I can’t commit to £300 for a whole year up front), it’s pretty unlikely I would only actually go in once a year. But my point was that anyone not going for the fixed desk option probably doesn’t know how much they are going to use the service, and so there really should be pay as you go options (with a premium of course to cover the advantage of flexibility – just like mobile phone tariffs) if they really want to call the space ‘affordable’.

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    […] Posted on July 20, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | ON the newswire, TechCrunch is reporting that Google has now joined global publisher Pearson to become one of the first founding sponsors of TechHub, a new co-working space and innovation centre for technology start-up companies in central London. TechHub’s aim is to provide developers and budding tech entrepreneurs with “an affordable, buzzing and creative working environment. TechHub may just be what a few continental European entrepreneurs have been looking for. At least 20-30% of seed and venture capital spent in Europe comes out of London and plenty of European startups prefer to register as companies in the UK. Fees are “drop-in co-working” for members at £300 per year and permanent deskspace for £275 per month. For more: […]

  • David Symons

    @Dave .. you’re missing the point! There are many options within London to have the ability to utilise desk space for one or two days a month. TechHub are not offering that – you are complaining about a product and target demographic which they just aren’t trying to do. It’s like going into Burger King and complaining they don’t have a BigMac.

    In terms of having a desk in downtown London city just off from Old Street for £300 a month with no additional costs/worries on top isn’t as expensive as you would think. If you could find it cheaper, by all means, post away.

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