Startup Weekly: WiderPool launch, Croydon co-working space & more


Correction: A previous version of this article said TWMR, Croydon’s new co-working space, had received £2m in financial support from Croydon Council and the Greater London Authority, as part of the government’s £7bn investment into the regeneration of the area. The figure, provided by mistake by the Council, has now been corrected to £7m. 

Welcome to Startup Weekly, our new roundup of the week’s top tech news for startups in the UK.

Every week, we will bring you the latest from the country’s startup accelerators, incubators, competitions and awards.

WiderPool launches

Serial entrepreneur Adarsh Radia, previously on the founding members of eyewear startup KITE, has launched WiderPool, an innovation broker.

WiderPool will seek to build meaningful relationships between growth-stage tech companies looking to scale and global corporates that are struggling to innovate.

As part of its Global Scaling Programme, WiderPool is accepting applications from innovative tech companies operating in the telecoms, FinTech or big data spaces until the end of May.

Adarsh Radia, co-founder at WiderPool, said:“Tech companies are by nature lean – they need help to grow and lack business development experience. Founders often feel alone and frustrated and they have neither the financial means nor the support to help scale their business. Whilst these tech companies have great ideas, they don’t talk the corporate language. Often, when these companies manage to find funding, the founders dilute themselves out of the business by the equity they give away.

“WiderPool’s mission is twofold. We are looking to plug the innovation ‘black hole’ that currently exists in the corporate ecosystem, while at the same time solving the inefficiencies that currently exist between the startup incubator segment and VCs at the point of series funding,” he added.

Aside from support and guidance, the programme will offer $250,000 as initial development capital with the possibility of brokering additional funding.

Ignacio Macias, co-founder at WiderPool, added: “Large corporates often struggle with how to innovate effectively and aren’t tapped into the most relevant networks …WiderPool helps answer this challenge by providing corporates with access to the best new technologies on the market. Corporates can then stay focussed on their core competencies while simultaneously reaping the rewards of innovation.”

Croydon co-working space

TMRW, a brand new tech hub and co-working space, opened in Croydon (South London) earlier this week.

The co-working space received more than £2m in financial support from Croydon Council and the Greater London Authority, as part of the government’s £7m investment into the regeneration of the South London area.

Francois Mazoudier, TMRW’s chairman, said: “London has become Europe’s epicenter for fast growth tech businesses – an amazing achievement. The downside of this boom has been the flash rise of rent prices in central London, with many great startups being priced out of central London, in particular the East End.

With TMRW, our network of tech entrepreneurs, investors, industry partners and a vibrant local social scene, we’re establishing one of the UK’s best alternative clusters for tech entrepreneurs and startups,” he concluded.

Sustainable business award

CleanTech startup Winnow, which helps people reduce their food waste in half, has won The Guardian‘s Sustainable Business Startup of the Year award.

“We have been working to solve the problem of food waste in the hospitality sector for three years and are delighted to have been presented with this award.” said Marc Zornes, Winnow CEO and co-founder.

He added: “This is a real milestone for our mission to fight food waste, and we would like to thank our customers like Compass Group and Accor hotels who have embraced Winnow. Working in over 200 kitchens we have consistently seen food waste cut in half which is a real win-win for the environment and for business.”

The news comes after the startup closed a $3.3m Series A funding round in January.

… Until next week!