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

The Wharf - - News - Go to for more in­for­ma­tion

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

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