Tech City charity offers workspace to start-ups

Launchpad Labs opening with MP Meg Hillier (second left), David (right) and Eddie (left)

Launchpad Labs opening with MP Meg Hillier (second left), David (right) and Eddie (left) - Credit: Archant

A charity has launched in the heart of Tech City offering workspace to start-up businesses and mentoring services from on-site experts.

LaunchPad Labs, in Old Street, offers membership subscriptions and scholarships to support disadvantaged entrepreneurs and get their businesses up and running.

David Hardman, 21, launched the concept with his cousin Eddie Holmes, 30.

He said: “The most important thing for us as a charity is to try and access people in need as much as we can. That is especially important for the scholarship spaces.

“Whether people have a criminal conviction, long term health issues or another disadvantage, they can come on board on scholarship to work on their idea.”

Budding entrepreneurs can fill out an online application to get involved.

The current office has 17000 sq ft of space and hosts an estimated 15 businesses from graphics to oil importing.

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LaunchPad Labs aims to create a community with outreach to existing businesses and charities in the area.

David said: “I think there is a gap in the market where local Hackney citizens aren’t seeing the benefits of this amazing start-up boom that is happening just around the corner from them.”

He added: “Old Street is the centre of everything that is happening in London and in Europe. “We need to start here make a name for our name for ourselves. It is easier to find entrepreneurs when they are all within a few kilometres from you.”

The workspace project also allows for open discussion between resident businesses so people can trade expertise and help each other.

David said: “Everyone comes from different backgrounds and they are bringing different skills. This is basically the pilot model at the moment but we are trying to get as many people in here as possible.”

The charity is currently running a crowd funding campaign to sustain itself.

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