Source: own photo

Why I didn’t want to come home from London?

Last week I spent three days in London to get to know it’s startup ecosystem better. Well, I was amazed.

Actually, I’m quite impressed how the ecosystem evolves from day to day here in Budapest. A few years ago, when we founded BestPub, which eventually failed after 8 months due to the lack of experience, we’d have give anything to live in an ecosystem like we have today.

But on the other hand, we still have a lot to learn. From London, for example.

  1. Google Campus

It’s all in one place. The area near the Old Street Roundabout is a start-up heaven for us, entrepreneurs from CEE. You can register to Google Campus at http://www.campuslondon.com, becoming a member of a community of more than 16 000 entrepreneurs and 700 mentors. Google simply bought the building, and gave it to the local start-up ecosystem, encouraging it to evolve and thrive. Very good!

2. Campus: Creator Exchange

On the ground floor, there was a cabin, where you could sit in, and pitch your start-up in two minutes. One shot, no refining, speak, and upload. The initiative is really exciting. Check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_65KCX8v6As for more information.

3. Central Working

In the basement, we found ourselves in an open co-working space. It has coffees and sandwiches, and it’s totally free to be there and work on your project. If I had to pitch it, I’d say it’s Starbucks for start-ups. And I wasn’t wrong! The founder of Central Working told us, that he was running a cafe before creating Central Working.

4. Device Lab

Inside Central Working, there is a Device Lab, with the most common mobile devices, you’d probably develop for. Android, iOS, smartphones, tablets, etc. You can test your stuff in only a few minutes, since it’s there, and it’s for testing.

5. Events

This can sound a bit silly, but comparing it to Budapest, we still have a lot to learn. On Thursday morning, around 7am, I checked meetup.com for start-up events. When I found 17 different events only on Thursday, I had to start looking for my jaws on the floor. There were events for fashion start-ups, digital start-ups, hardware start-ups, events focusing on HR, bizdev, and so on. I’m not afraid of this one, events are on the rise here, and this can be set as some kind of a goal, I guess.

+1. What we have and London doesn’t

You couldn’t find developers looking for a job though.

Developers. Everyone is looking for developers, and we’re full of them. I mean there are lots of tech focused entrepreneurs here in Budapest, and everyone is looking for Hustlers. There, everyone is looking for CTOs and developers. Python, Java, PHP, Node.js, doesn’t matter. If you can code, you’re good to go. We have the know-how that they need, this is a GREAT asset I think.


Anyways, London just started to develop it’s ecosystem almost the same time when Budapest did: three years ago. It is a very different path, and a very different culture. But if we want to compete with Stanford dropouts, we’ll have to learn from them, and the good news is, that things we don’t have yet? These aren’t red flags.