Plexal and Here East have announced a new partnership with Texas based entrepreneur campus, Capital Factory. The partnership will seek to open up expansion opportunities between their communities with a strong focus on advanced start-ups and SMEs, and to improve connectivity between their corporate partners. The agreement was made during SXSW (South by South West), with both parties signing MOUs and thus linking the London and Austin tech and creative industries.
Plexal, the innovation centre situated in Here East, and Here East itself will subsequently act as an entry-point for US startup’s looking to expand into the UK and Europe, and Capital Factory will provide support for UK based companies who are looking to enter the US through Austin Texas. The agreement enables startup executives at each facility to hot-desk at the offices of the other when visiting London or Austin/Dallas. In addition to this, expanding companies will also be able to apply for accelerator programmes and support services when looking to cross the Atlantic.
This partnership will intensify the international relationship between the US and the UK, with the organisations pledging to explore collaboration opportunities around their respective corporate and startup innovation programs in areas such as cyber-security/defense, mobility, diversity and inclusion, and education. Plexal is a leading innovation center in the UK, working with both corporate organisations and SMEs to deliver innovation programmes and Capital Factory runs its Corporate Innovation Center and Center for Defense Innovation with partners Army Futures Command, AFWERX, DIUx and BoozAllen.
Signatories for the agreement were Michael Magan, chief operating officer of Here East, Andrew Roughan, managing director of Plexal and on behalf of Capital Factory, Fred Schmidt MBE, Director of International Affairs. A dedicated representative presence for Here East and Plexal was established as part of the signing and will be led by Andy Jones, an Austin tech startup executive originally from London. Capital Factory will establish its presence at Here East and Plexal in June as part of an Austin-led Texas delegation that will be attending London Tech Week.
Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East said, “Executing this MOU solidifies the important strategic relationship that has already evolved between the Here East / Plexal and Capital Factory teams over the past several years with many exchange visits already happening in London and Austin, and more planned during 2019.
“Great Britain always has had one of the largest delegations at SXSW running a variety of activations over recent years including Great Britain House, Hackney House Austin, the British Music Embassy, British Underground and other programs. Here East has often been a sponsor of those events even prior to opening our doors in 2017 after a massive five-year redevelopment of our facility following the Olympics.”
Fred Schmidt MBE, director of international affairs, Capital Factory said, “This relationship with Here East and Plexal comes together, in a very specific way, an active partner with comparable large-scale resources and ecosystem that can be of great value to our companies in their global markets growth. Capital Factory does the same for the London companies”