Plexal and Here East have announced a new partnership with Texas-based entrepreneur campus, Capital Factory.
The partnership will seek to open up expansion opportunities between their communities with a strong focus on advanced startups and SMEs, and to improve connectivity between their corporate partners.
The agreement was made during SXSW (South by South West), with both parties signing MOUs and thus linking the London and Austin tech and creative industries.
Plexal, the innovation centre situated in Here East, and Here East itself will subsequently act as an entry-point for US startups looking to expand into the UK and Europe, and Capital Factory will provide support for UK-based companies who are looking to enter the US through Austin Texas.
The agreement enables startup executives at each facility to hot-desk at the offices of the other when visiting London or Austin/Dallas. In addition to this, expanding companies will also be able to apply for accelerator programmes and support services when looking to cross the Atlantic.
The organisations have pledged to explore collaboration opportunities around their respective corporate and startup innovation programs in areas such as cybersecurity/defense, mobility, diversity and inclusion, and education.
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Plexal works with both corporate organisations and SMEs to deliver innovation programmes and Capital Factory runs its Corporate Innovation Center and Center for Defense Innovation with partners Army Futures Command, AFWERX, DIUx and BoozAllen.
Signatories for the agreement were Michael Magan, chief operating officer of Here East, Andrew Roughan, managing director of Plexal and on behalf of Capital Factory, Fred Schmidt MBE, director of international affairs. A dedicated representative presence for Here East and Plexal was established as part of the signing and will be led by Andy Jones, an Austin tech startup executive originally from London.
Capital Factory will establish its presence at Here East and Plexal in June as part of an Austin-led Texas delegation that will be attending London Tech Week.
Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East, said: “Executing this MOU solidifies the important strategic relationship that has already evolved between the Here East / Plexal and Capital Factory teams over the past several years with many exchange visits already happening in London and Austin, and more planned during 2019.
“Great Britain always has had one of the largest delegations at SXSW running a variety of activations over recent years including Great Britain House, Hackney House Austin, the British Music Embassy, British Underground and other programs.
“Here East has often been a sponsor of those events even prior to opening our doors in 2017 after a massive 5-year redevelopment of our facility following the Olympics.”