By Daniel Hunter
FIG Village, a new West London hub for start-up businesses, was officially opened by the Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise, Kit Malthouse, yesterday (Thursday).
Funded by venture capital group Find Invest Grow (FIG), FIG Village is a former Royal Mail sorting warehouse that is now home to 15 businesses across a range of industries, all at various stages of growth, from pre-revenue start-ups to businesses with multi-million pound turnovers. The build, which has taken six months to complete, has brought 114 jobs to the area.
“Investing in young entrepreneurs is crucial to London’s future. FIG is a great example of home-grown venture capital providing practical assistance to people with bright business ideas," Kit Malthouse said.
"The Mayor and I are working to encourage more initiatives of this type in order to create the jobs and workspace our modern city needs.”
The 18,399 sq. ft. space boasts a state-of-the-art gym and basketball court as well as a large open plan event space that companies can use for investor meetings, product launches, demonstrations and networking events.
“Whether you work at a start-up or not, jobs in the modern economy are increasingly difficult to pigeonhole in traditional ‘9 to 5’ work hours. We wanted to create a work environment that would accommodate this, where we were happy to spend time if we needed to wait late for a response from the US or come in early to speak to China," Founder and MD of FIG, James King, said.
The companies that are based at FIG Village are given access to FIG’s mentors and suppliers but, unlike incubators and accelerators, offices are rented on commercial terms and have no fixed term.
“FIG Village is in a fantastic location with great transport links, easy access to Heathrow and, conveniently for the start-ups, West London is where a lot of investors call home," Mr King added.
FIG Village is a stone’s throw from the soon-to-be-built Imperial College London’s £150m research and translation campus, which will bring potential partners from business, industry, the NHS and other global universities together.
It has already attracted the attention of international investors who have located their European HQ in the office — managing global fitness brands, such as Power Plate.
Since launching in 2009, FIG has helped 12 start-ups, from attention analytics company EyeQuant to gym equipment manufacturer MuJo Mechanics, to raise more than £3.8m in equity capital. They now have a combined enterprise value of £29.27m.
“Our launch event will showcase the potential of the West London area as well as our fantastic new space and we’re hoping it will be the first of many events held here," Co-founder of FIG, Mark Hanington, said.
"FIG Village has already had a very positive response from investors and start-ups and we’d be keen to replicate the space if we can find additional locations.”
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