Google for Startups UK decides to close London Campus

co-working

Google for Startups UK has announced that it has decided close its London Campus – and will move its services online.

The decision could have been primarily driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting working from home trend.

Google will now close the seven-storey East London campus, which has been open for almost a decade.

In a statement, the company said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have supported more than 50 startups from across the UK in our high-touch programs and delivered training to more than 1,300 entrepreneurs. Despite the crisis, startups in our European community continued growing, created almost 16,000 jobs, and raised 10% more than they did in the year before—over $2.5 billion.

“This shift demonstrated that, similar to the support we provide in other advanced startup ecosystems like the US and Germany, we can provide support for startups right across the country without a physical space. We are therefore opening a new chapter for our work in the UK, and we will not be reopening our Campus in London. The GFS UK team will continue delivering programming, remotely and in-person, bringing the best of Google’s people, products and best practices to startups across the UK and beyond.”

Industry reaction

Max Kreijn, Co-founder and CSO at Retail Technology firm, NearSt said: “This is sad news for the London startup community. With TechHub and now Google Campus leaving it feels like the heart of the early stage startup ecosystem – one that created countless successful startups between 2010-2020 – has been pulled out.

“These organisations had the financial capital, knowhow and most importantly a genuine purpose to support startups before thinking about profit. It’s truly sad to see how the pandemic has impacted the ecosystem in London.

“It’s a system we benefitted from greatly from during the early days of NearSt. It was a melting pot of other startups, talent, investors, events, media, and advisors. We launched our first product at TechHub + Google Campus’ Demo-Night, were invited to the world’s first Google Campus Residency programme, and ultimately lead to our transformational partnership with Google. It also saw one of the industry’s most influential members – Sarah Drinkwater – become a key part of our business.”

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