Financial tech start-up accelerator Level 39 has officially launched at London’s Canary Wharf, with a whole floor dedicated to supporting the development of innovative technologies.
Unveiled today by London Mayor Boris Johnson, Level 39 will provide office space and support for start-up companies creating financial, retail and smart city technologies.
The accelerator is aiming to make the most of London’s reputation as a leading financial sector on the world stage, attracting some of the leading financial tech start-ups in Europe and building on the success of east London’s Tech City.
“Attracting the brightest entrepreneurial minds is crucial if London is to maintain its position as the world's foremost financial centre and Level39 will foster just the talent we need to future-proof the capital’s technology and financial sectors,” Johnson commented.
The project is headed up by Eric van der Kleij, who stepped down as chief executive of the UK's Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO) in June last year to launch Level 39.
The accelerator has already been used to provide office space over 12 weeks for seven start-ups involved in the Fintech Innovation Lab London, led by Accenture. The project involves providing senior level mentoring from financial services, venture capital and angel investment firms, and will culminate in an investor day at City Hall tomorrow.
“The timing could not be better to open Level39. London’s financial services sector is searching for new technologies to transform itself at the very moment that the tech sector is displaying the sort of growth required to move the UK economy forward,” van der Kleij commented.
“Level39 is London’s point of convergence for FinTech, situated in the East End, which is the most dynamic area of Europe right now. Level39 and Canary Wharf complement London’s existing tech clusters and provide the capital’s first physical centrepiece for FinTech and retail tech. We aim to play a complementary role in the Tech City eco-system.”
Tech City has already received support from a number of financial companies, with Barclays opening a centre dedicated to entrepreneurs near Silicon Roundabout.