UK: Three years ago, following the success of its Geovation Challenges, Ordnance Survey (OS) opened the Geovation Hub in London. The move was made to further energize innovation in the UK geospatial industry by attracting new players, new visions, new thinking and new markets, and offering these start-ups the best possible support through the Geovation Programme.
Twelve months ago, to widen scope of the Programme to include PropTech start-ups. Geovation and OS partnered with HM Land Registry to help the UK become a global leader in the land and property market.
In the three years since the Hub opened, businesses that have entered its Programme have so far raised £19.5m in investment funding and created 189 new jobs.
The Geovation Hub has been so popular with the start-up community that this summer it relocated its office to accommodate the increased demand in its services.
The Geospatial Commission has also noted the impact made by the Geovation Hub and is currently assessing the value of opening other hubs outside of London. This could be in regions where GeoTech and PropTech start-ups would benefit from their proximity to industry. It also feeds into the government’s industrial strategy.
Head of Geovation, Alex Wrottesley, said: “We have built on the outstanding work of the Geovation Challenge and carried its ethos forward to offer start-ups a founder-friendly environment. Everything we do is designed to give them the best possible start. We provide them with great mentors, high-quality workshop content and, almost uniquely, a dedicated in-house software development team that work with our companies to build and release their first products. This is something very few accelerators can offer, and this means the businesses joining us move faster and further than they otherwise would have been able to.
“Generating investment and new jobs obviously has a positive effect on the economy. We always have one eye on how we contribute value to UK Plc. For us, it’s very straight forward. We’re trying to help new businesses start-up and there is great evidence that the most value created for the national economy is by helping companies go from 0 to 5 people.
“To the start-up community, in general, the Geovation Hub adds a new dimension. There’s a huge market for accelerators and incubators and startup hubs, spaces and co-working spaces, London is littered with them. So where Level 39, the big financial technology (Fin Tech) accelerator founded by Canary Wharf has been hugely successful is because the people working with those technologies have a lot in common. They all sit in the same space and share the same knowledge and experience. We are doing the same with Geo Tech and PropTech.