CEO Jillian Kowalchuk on safety in the city
Meet some of the female startup founders who are heading for success having been selected for Stratford’s Plexiglass accelerator programme
Laura Enfield E ast London innovation centre Plexal wants to change the face of tech in the UK.
It’s Plexiglass accelerator programme has launched, giving 12 female-led tech startups support and advice to help make their businesses a success. Latest figures from the Chartered Institute for IT found only 17% of UK IT specialists are female.
Claire Cockerton, founder and CEO of Plexal, based at Here East in Stratford, is on a mission to change that. “As we enter the fourth industrial revolution,” she said, “we need a diverse technology sector to make the most of the massive opportunities in front of us.”
The former co-founder and boss of Canary Wharf tech accelerator Level39 (right) has partnered with the London Legacy Development Corporation and Barclays Eagle Labs for Plexiglass.
Over eight weeks it will offer the 12 selected startups free space at Plexal, mentoring from the likes of Barclays, access to the Plexal and wider Here East community, which includes UCL and London College of Fashion, pitch training and founder fundamentals, as well as go-to-market strategy, financing options, legal services and exit valuation. The programme will culminate with a pitch event to be attended by large corporations and prospective investors. Each of the 12 companies selected for Plexiglass is London-based, with 42% situated in east London, and many hoping to stay in the area going forward. We meet two of them in the first of our spotlights on the programme.
Jilly Kowalchuk heads up her navigation app, Safe and the City