TechHub goes into administration. Remembering the last 10 years.

TechHub’s fifth birthday in 2015

It is with huge hurt and sadness that I am announcing that TechHub has been forced to go into administration.

Unfortunately, with a significant reduction in revenue due to the impact of Covid on our member companies, and without an agreement from our major landlord to our proposals for a way forward, we are unable to continue*.

Oof. How do you write ten years in an email? We were the first initiative on the roundabout, and we’ve stayed true to our original mission: bringing together the tech industry, and supporting founders and companies to grow and succeed. We’ve been the first London home for so many international founders, with over 60 nationalities represented in the TechHub membership.

While today is very sad, it’s also a time to recognise just some of the things we’ve achieved in the last decade…

At TechHub we’ve run over 200 pieces of programming each year that are TechHub events with 3000 over the decade including events hosted for others.These include flagship TechHub events like TechHubTuesday Demo Night, Startup Funeral, and our Fireside Chat series. Demoers have included Callsign (raised $35m Series A), Aiden.AI (Acquired by Twitter), Plaid (European Unicorn), Divide (acquired by Google).

In just the last year, we arranged one-to-one meetings with 402 investors for our member founders helping them to raise seed rounds. Covid didn’t stop our programme as that included 157 founder meetings with investors during lockdown. Our 2020 focus on achieving more equality meant that 51% of our hosted investors, and 31% of the founders are women and people of colour.

Our high profile speaker series has included Eric Ries (three times!) with valuable on-stage live coaching, Jimmy Wales, Sarah Wood, Joel Spolsky, Michael Acton Smith, Brent Hoberman, Dame Stephanie Shirley, Michael Pennington, Scott Kupor, Ali Parsa, Nicola Mendelsohn, Patrick Pichette, Nicholas Negroponte.

We’ve directly supported 5000 startups as members, and had over 150,000 tech industry folks through our doors over the last decade. All at TechHub to learn, be inspired and support each other. We’ve been home to notable members FreeUp (acquired by Greensill), Divide (acquired by Google), Bloomsbury AI (acquired by Facebook), JukeDeck (acquired by TikTok), Yammer (acquired by Microsoft), Nexmo (acquired by Vonage), Wercker (acquired by Oracle), EyeTease, Callsign, SwiftKey, and Babylon Health. FundApps and Seedrs were two of our very, very first companies. Benivo was our longest-serving member from 2012 to just this month. Oh, and Stephen Fry was a member in our first year.

We became home to vital ecosystem initiatives including Raspberry Pi Foundation, Code Club, Apps for Good, Founders4Schools, and Coadec.

We played an integral part in the formation and running of Google Campus in London and proudly launched TechHub Warsaw and TechHub Madrid in those campuses. We have been so fortunate to be part of the Google for Startups community of the world’s best incubators and startup initiatives. It’s been a privilege to learn from and support you.

We’re so incredibly proud of the work done by the founders and teams of TechHub Riga, TechHub Bucharest and TechHub Swansea. They’ve done incredible work to catalyse the tech industry in their cities and built on the work we started back in 2009. Please support them in what’s a difficult time for everyone in the tech community, we want to ensure they carry on the TechHub torch.

Corporates who partnered with us over the decade include Pearson, Google for Startups, BT, Telefonica, Deloitte, Aviva, Hiscox, Silicon Valley Bank, London and Partners, Wilson Sonsini, HP and Ordnance Survey and others.

TechHub is absolutely nothing without people.

Our members have been some of the most innovative, fun, hard-working people we’ve had the pleasure to know. We’ve been so proud to be a small part of our journey, and thank you, thank you, thank you for making TechHub the unique place it has been.

The hardest part about this is that I won’t be working with my amazing team every day. Our team is and has always been the most fantastic group of people. I feel so fortunate that so many skilled, dedicated and joyful people have wanted to be part of TechHub. To Mel Hofert, Perdie Alder, Tom Spring, Harriet Davis, Michael Handley, Cassie Murphy, Theresa Gyamfi, Kaitlyn Fleming, you make TechHub what it is. You always support each other, you care about our members, and you make me so pleased that work can be a place for people to come together and be absolutely and 100% who we all genuinely are. To all the TechHub team members who’ve come before, to Simon Towers and Manoj Chandrappa, we could never have done this without you.

Thank you to Alastair Walmsley and Ben Hookway, our board advisors who offered such strong counsel and stalwart support for so many years.

A huge thank you to Mike Butcher who began this journey with me and who has been a strong and steady supporter well before TechHub was a gleam in our eyes. From advising at board meetings over the years, back to the hands-on early days, there’s no-one I’d rather paint a wall at midnight with!

Andrew. Andrew Tibbitts. It’s so hard to sum up a relationship with someone that you’ve been through the absolute highs and lows with. Someone who’s always there, steadfastly supporting while also telling terrible jokes. Someone who works tirelessly alongside you to grow and then save something important that you’ve built together. Someone who can speak so impressively and with such passion about, well, just about any subject, but especially about how to build amazing things (and the history of cocktails). Someone who wears deely boppers to sign his contract when he joins your company, and is still the single best business decision I’ve ever made. Andrew, you’ve made this journey so much better, and deeply and impressively weird. Thank you.

I began my TechHub journey 11 years ago in May 2009 which has made today’s situation even more difficult.

The team and our board are so passionate about supporting our members and the wider tech community, we have done really everything we can to resolve the situation.

We have spent the last four months engaging directly with the government, City Hall, our lenders, landlords and the local council to find a solution which would enable us to continue. We are hugely grateful to our board advisors who’ve shown us unstinting support through this incredibly difficult and sad time.

Our mission has been to help London’s ecosystem get better, faster and this is something that I truly believe we have done. Thanks to everyone who’s been part of our story, it’s been wonderful.

Elizabeth Varley

Founder & CEO

*TechHub’s administrator Paul Stanley, Regional Managing Partner at Begbies Traynor said “I was brought in by the TechHub directors to advise them during this difficult period, and felt their rescue plan was very viable. TechHub’s customer levels were almost at full capacity just before lockdown was enacted by the government, and the company is only in this position because of the Covid situation. The funders, advisors, directors and employees were happy with the rescue plan, and I’m very surprised that the landlord as major creditor wasn’t even prepared to engage with the company about it.”

Founder & CEO @TechHub, community & spaces for tech startups. London, Boston, Riga, Bucharest, Swansea, Bangalore, Madrid & more soon.

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Elizabeth Varley

Elizabeth Varley

Founder & CEO @TechHub, community & spaces for tech startups. London, Boston, Riga, Bucharest, Swansea, Bangalore, Madrid & more soon.

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