Shoreditch is an area well known for its street art, culinary variety and lively nightlife. But it’s not just this that characterises the area – Shoreditch is also bustling hub for start-up businesses. Favoured for its convenient location, vibrant culture and numerous communal working spaces, the area has become associated with certain types of start-ups and business ventures. Here, we take a look at five types of start-ups you’re likely to find in Shoreditch.
The US may have Silicon Valley, but East London has Silicon Roundabout. Also known as East London Tech City, the Shoreditch and Old Street areas got this name due to the cluster of technology companies stationed there. It all began when tech start-ups sprang up in the area as the 2008 recession lowered rent prices and redundancies from financial companies meant talented workers started exploring new options. Now, the area attracts a range of huge companies— the likes of Facebook and Google have invested in the area — and is at the forefront of technological innovation in the UK.
While the big names have moved in, there’s still plenty of room for tech start-ups in Shoreditch, and it’s the Fintech industry that’s particularly booming. Recent successful fintech startups include acasa – formerly Splittable – which is revolutionising the way “generation rent” deal with their bills. This only scratches the surface, though, as there’s a huge variety of tech-focused businesses spread across the Shoreditch area. With apps and online platforms being developed for everything from healthcare to the music industry, East London Tech City is as fertile as ever for start-ups.
Marketing businesses are another common occurrence in Shoreditch. For example, the highly successful digital agency Brainlabs is based just around the corner from Old Street Roundabout. In a similar category, affiliate marketing company Seven Star Digital started out in Shoreditch as a small team in 2016 and now operates a number of successful gambling comparison websites.
There are also marketing agencies like Buzzbar – London’s first walk-in marketing production service. This agency started out several years ago in an old shoe shop and is now offering London businesses a new approach to marketing. These two are just a couple examples of the many Shoreditch start-ups bringing unique and innovative approaches to marketing, which is fitting considering the area’s creative history.
Fashion has always been a big part of Shoreditch culture, and this is reflected in the types of businesses in the area. Recent years have seen multi-concept stores such as Modern Society and AIDA spring up, for instance. These stores offer a range of independent clothing brands and homeware. They go beyond the standard high street experience by putting as much emphasis on the shopping experience itself as they do on the products they sell. As well as shops like these, there’s no shortage of pop up stores keeping the Shoreditch fashion scene alive and fresh today.
One of Shoreditch’s most successful start-ups of recent years is Lyst, the online fashion search platform. Lyst began in a shed in Shoreditch back in 2010 and now has over 70 million users each year, showing the potential there is for creative fashion-focused companies in this part of London.
Last but certainly not least, street food stalls are one of Shoreditch’s most common types of start-ups. There’s a huge range of culinary experiences on offer, from vegan options to pasta and plenty of halloumi in between, presenting Shoreditch workers with an endless variety of lunch options.
Some food start-ups even make it all the way from market to stands to fully fledged restaurants, such as Vurger Co. This business started out in 2016 as a stall offering a vegan fast food alternative and in just two years has gone from street food to having two restaurants in Shoreditch and Canary Wharf. This is just yet another example of a Shoreditch start-up going from humble beginnings to a successful business, and we’re sure some of the current food stalls in the area will see similar success.
So there we have it – the types of start-ups you’re likely to see in Shoreditch. With so many success stories, it’s no surprise to see young businesses and ventures are attracted area. One thing’s for certain: we’re bound to see plenty more successful start-ups crop up in the coming years.