Former Tech City chief to launch FinTech accelerator in Canary Wharf
New facility aims to bring together tech start-ups with financial heavyweights
Eric Van Der Kleij, technology entrepreneur and outgoing chief executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO), is helping to launch a new financial technologies accelerator space in Canary Wharf.
The accelerator, known as Level39, is the result of the Canary Wharf Group's efforts to “diversify its tenant base” and encourage companies in “growth sectors” to locate themselves in the area. The property development company appointed Van Der Kleij as a specialist adviser earlier this year.
Level39 will be Europe’s largest accelerator space for technology businesses innovating in the financial services sector, according to Canary Wharf Group. Located on the thirty-ninth floor of One Canada Square, it will have an open plan design and will include four “sandbox” offices, a 200-seat event space, and a business club lounge.
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Start-ups will be able to rent out desks or office space, the cost of which will be subsidised by the Canary Wharf Group.
Canary Wharf Group hopes that Level39 will provide a place for growing technology companies to take advantage of the business opportunities, talent, investment and advice provided by its existing financial and professional services tenants, which employ over 100,000 people at Canary Wharf.
Companies currently residing at Canary Wharf including Thomson Reuters, Infosys, Ogilvy & Mather, Samsung, Ricoh UK, Trinity Mirror, China Unicomm, Instinet, Sungard, Oracle Financial Services and The McGraw-Hill Companies.
“We will partner with the world’s best FinTech incubators and accelerator programmes to support firms as they progress from start-up through to expansion and growth stages,” said Van Der Kleij in a statement.
“This will be a place for industry experts to come together, share knowledge and mentor up-and-coming talent with a view to bringing new products and services to the market.”
Sir George Iacobescu CBE, chairman and chief executive of Canary Wharf Group, added that linking Canary Wharf’s established financial services companies with London’s burgeoning technology scene will benefit the whole economy through enhanced competition, transparency and client services.
The news was welcomed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
"Attracting the brightest entrepreneurial minds is crucial if London is to maintain its position as the world's foremost financial centre.Level39 is sure to foster talent and help the capital's technology and financial sectors flourish, in turn driving jobs and growth,” he said.
Level39 is ecpected to open in early 2013.