More than 200,000 startups launch in London every year.
And ‘it’s not hard to see why,’ writes Christina Hopkinson, author of Startup London. ‘The city has the entertainment industry of Los Angeles, the technical hub of San Francisco and the financial and creative services of New York rolled into one thriving mass. In London’s living rooms and kitchens, under railway arches, in industrial parks and converted warehouses, people are dreaming up, planning, starting and actually running their own businesses.’
Startup London, focused on the smaller, more visually creative enterprises rather than the bigger, more abstract tech companies, tells the stories of 30 of the most creative.
Describing the creation of the book ‘as bicycling around bits of London meeting inspiring people’, Hopkinson takes readers on a journey from King’s Cross to New Cross, bringing together businesses from digital apps to distilleries.
Reflective of the diversity of London’s creative talent, the book profiles small businesses ranging from startups building robotic arms (Automata) to delivering flowers by bicycle (Petalon), and from creating shared workspaces for startups (Second Home) to making jars of award-winning peanut butter (Pip & Nut).
Taking into view a broader understanding of entrepreneurship than the oft-profiled, venture-backed male techies that define the Silicon Valley image of startup culture, the book exemplifies the spirit of London’s entrepreneurship.
Photographed in their workshops, the pages range from awe-inspiringly young 20-somethings in skinny jeans to grey-haired over 50s, from accidental entrepreneurs to those inspired by the goal of entrepreneurship as much as the product they’ve created.
United only by an ambition to change the way we eat, shop, play and view the world, the passionate entrepreneurs behind these businesses reveal the truths and challenges that they’ve experienced first-hand, and share their key advice with readers.
Complete with a small ‘Tips and Advice’ booklet by business writer Rebecca Burn-Callander dedicated to the must-have info to start your own business, Startup London is an inspirational guide for anyone dreaming of starting up, whether it be in London or beyond.
Startup London is published by Hoxton Mini Press, £28.00. Available from www.hoxtonminipress.com.