Microsoft Opens Startup space Reactor in Shoreditch

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    By SP450 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

    Microsoft is the most recent company that is eyeing up the hotshot startups of London with an investment of $20m (£14.3m) in a new space in Shoreditch that opened last Thursday.

    Reactor is set to host the accelerator for the scale-up of the tech giants of Silicon Valley, along with a space for events including hackathons to help improve the startup ecosystem of the capital.

    Warwick Hill, the managing director for startups and scale-up programme of Microsoft in the United Kingdom, stated: “This is a long-term investment in Britain.

    “It’s a good thing for UK business and to help them go global. London is the epicentre in the UK. It’s a good investment for us pre and post-Brexit.”

    It is just the most recent of various new tech spaces to open up in the city. However, Hill said that it was the involvement of customers such as Rolls Royce, Kingfisher, and Vodafone which will make it stand out from the others that have only a single corporate backer.

    London is the first Reactor space that is established in Europe following the locations in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and New York. Microsoft is proposing to also open one in Sydney and is also considering a launch in more spaces in Europe.

    Hill stated: “There are plans to look at Berlin, and obviously France is a big pull with Station F [startup space].”

    It is also considered to be a move to get smaller companies to use Microsoft, particularly the cloud services of the company, an area in which it is competing with Google and Amazon.

    The capital is the considered to be third largest target country for the company’s cloud business, and it also has a large developer community.