Library-based hub hosts 55 start-ups
Wimbledon's new technology campus - Wimbletech - has been officially opened by council leader Stephen Alambritis.
The brainchild of David Fletcher, the technology hub has grown from just one to 55 start-ups which include companies that create business development software, mobile phone apps and other technology products.
A combination of support, business advice and space in Wimbledon Library, provided by the council, and technological expertise from David and the other start-ups, have helped make this centre of entrepreneurship a reality.
As well as helping the start-ups set up their businesses, Wimbletech has also started a free coding club called Hackathons where children and adults can learn for free about coding. The sessions are on Saturdays and so far there have been 25, making for many potential coders of the future.
Representatives from the start-ups and guest speaker Sam Street, who co-founded internet delivery company Postmates, joined Councillor Alambritis and David Fletcher at the celebratory opening event.
Councillor Alambritis said: "Wimbletech is a great success story and an example of how this council supports local businesses. They are the backbone of the local economy and, by working together we have seen jobs created and over 50 start-ups emerge from the hub, all a boost to Merton. Making Merton a place for enterprise to thrive is one of the reasons we have been awarded as the best business friendly council in London."
Wimbletech Co-founder, David Fletcher said: "I am hugely proud of all the hard work and teamwork that has helped set up and deliver Wimbletech, version 2.0 – members, partners, friends, associates – everyone has played an important part in the creation of what has quickly become an incredibly powerful, local community and council-backed tech and co-working hub. We are a community interest company, and our community mandate to provide affordable tech and co-working space. We now have nearly 60 members.
"We also provide free community events and hackathons – almost 30 so far under the leadership of our resident tech wizard, DJ Walker-Morgan. We’ve created an innovation hub for the London Borough of Merton, working closely with Merton Council to identify ways to better use tech, to better serve Merton residents. With a series of workshops already completed, the next step is to work even closer, with both the council and the local voluntary sector, to harness the power of the local tech community council, to help make Merton residents’ lives better. The next three to six months are really important to us because we are now full to bursting in our existing site.
"We need to work really closely with the council to ensure that all the hardwork that we’ve already done in bringing amazing individuals and tech start-ups to Merton, pays off. We need access to a bigger space(s) to ensure that all other start-ups that need a space to start and stay up, can join us. At the same time, we need to make sure that Wimbletech can provide the additional space required for those start-ups that grow up. I am 100% confident that we can creatively solve, deliver Wimbletech version 2.5 and 3.0, and in doing so, provide enormous value to local businesses, individuals, startups and residents here in Merton."
March 4, 2015