TechHub opens with a bang

Pearson-sponsored networking centre features FT Mobile event, Speed Dating, “Pitch Battle”

TechHubTechHub, a new co-working space and networking centre in London for technology entrepreneurs, had an action-packed first week that included Speed Dating for Entrepreneurs, a "Pitch Battle" competition for new business plans and a discussion of Financial Times mobile initiatives with technology bloggers.

"Starting up on your own is not easy. It is lonely at the beginning," said Brent Hoberman, co-founder of lastminute.com and a leading light in London’s Internet community, addressing the teeming launch party for TechHub. “It is fantastic to see places like this opening in London and I hope that we see many successful businesses come out of TechHub."

Pearson was the first founding sponsor of TechHub, followed by Google. London’s TechHub aims to be the first location in a network of TechHub communities spread around the world.

"Co-working is based on a community spirit that helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality," says Juan Lopez-Valcarcel, Pearson’s director of digital product and consumer technology. “We are thrilled to support the digital community in London and you will see many of our product teams working here at TechHub engaging with entrepreneurs and developers”.

The opening week kicked off on July 12 with a Tech Founder "Speed Dating" event on Monday, organised by Seedcamp and TechHub, as a forum designed to match entrepreneurs with technology talent. Just as in the “romantic” version of speed dating, potential partners moved quickly from chair to chair along a long table trying to find the right chemistry for relationships — to start a business together.

Pitch Battle
A view of the Speed Dating event at TechHub organized by Seedcamp

On July 14, the “TechCrunch Summer Pitch Battle” attracted more than 40 entrepreneurs seeking recognition for their business ideas. Entrants had one minute to pitch their idea in front of a packed crowd of fellow entrepreneurs, venture capital firms and corporate development teams.

Ten finalists were then chosen to present their ideas for three minutes. The first place winner was Calaboard, for an augmented reality video conferencing system in which one party might draw diagrams in three-dimensional space which then appear on a computer screen viewed by the other party. Second place went to Duedil for a platform for professional recommendations, and third place went to Geomium for a mobile location system that advises users of events going on around them.

 

FT on the iPad On July 15, the Financial Times mobile team shared ideas with tech  bloggers about the FT's current offerings and future plans for mobile devices including Apple’s iPhone and iPad. It was the first briefing at TechHub organised by one of Pearson’s businesses.

There have been 370,000 downloads of the FT’s app for the iPhone since the app was launched last year, and “we see very active users, with lengthy uses per visit,” said Steve Pinches, lead product development manager at FT.com. The FT’s app for the iPad, the only news app to win an Apple Design Award, has seen an average use of 23.3 minutes per visitor, and both the FT’s iPhone app and the new iPad app have been very effective in driving subscriptions to FT.com, said Mr. Pinches.

For more information about Pearson’s involvement in TechHub, contact Juan Lopez-Valcarcel at juan.lopezvalcarcel@pearson.com