Purpose-built for innovation
Our workspace has been designed to resemble a mini-city, so we have our very own indoor park, private phone booths, high street, town hall and workshop space for rapid prototyping (which comes stocked with 3D printers and scanners).
Why? Because we believe innovators need two things: opportunities to connect with people and space to think or create in quiet.
And cities do both those things – which is why they’ve been hotbeds of innovation for thousands of years.
Coworking memberships, events and innovation services
We offer startups flexible memberships, giving them access to a private office or a desk in our coworking space – plus all the benefits and support they need to scale.
We also host events (anything from workshops to large conferences) and have our own in-house innovation services team, who bring the right people round the table to tackle some of our biggest challenges.
Book your tour to see our mini-city.Book a Tour
Our story so far
Our story begins in 2012, when our building was home to the press centre of the London 2012 Olympic Games, before work began on transforming the site into an innovation centre based at the Here East tech cluster.
Plexal was officially opened by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in June 2017 and in a very short space of time we have become a thriving hub of tech startup and scaleup activity.
Since then we’ve made rapid progress, filling up with amazing tech startups and hosting hackathons, conferences, launches and meetups.
In 2018, we delivered Plexiglass: an accelerator to help female-founded startups scale.
And in June 2018, we were hugely proud to launch LORCA (the London Office for Rapid Cyber Advancement), which will see Plexal run bespoke, six-month programmes for the country’s top cybersecurity companies over three years.
Meet the team
Andrew has spent the predominant part of his career in technology infrastructure sectors driving business transformation for enterprise clients and major cities.
He first got involved with Here East in 2011 as a founding member team and successfully acquired a 200-year lease from the London Legacy Development Corporation to transform the former Press and Broadcast Centres in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
His role as COO at Here East made him responsible for creating the ecosystem and community where large and small companies collide, allowing them to benefit from one another’s scale and creativity (while delivering on the legacy goals that Here East aspires to).
Andrew was appointed to be the managing director of Plexal to lead the innovation centre in convening a community that will solve some of the challenges that matter most to society.
Robin’s earlier career was spent working in both blue-chip agencies and global brands before he set up his own consultancy to advise Sunday Times Fast Track 100 companies and startups on marketing plans.
As Plexal’s marketing director, he spends his time taming wild, creative ideas and commercialising them. Marketing is a real passion for Robin: he enjoys nothing better than taking a client challenge and developing an innovative way of solving it – whether that be by enlisting the help of a polar explorer to be a Schools Ambassador, securing product testing with the British Special Forces or attracting professors from LSE to be part of a contentious industry panel.
You can rely on Robin to have a big impact on anything he gets involved in.
Lydia Ragoonanan is the director of LORCA, the government-backed cybersecurity programme being delivered by Plexal.
She caught the bug to support collaboration between startups and large organisations during her four years at Nesta, where she designed and ran programmes to test and scale new social innovations.
Before working at Nesta, Lydia was the principal strategist at the New Zealand Transport agency where she wove behavioural insights approaches and user design into the fabric of the organisation. While at the Transport Agency, she was the Australasian representative on the World Road Forum’s funding and finance committee. And in past professional lives, she’s also been an internal auditor and a private secretary in the civil service.
In her spare time, Lydia enjoys the great outdoors, geeking out on podcasts and having adventures with her daughter.
Part mad professor (he holds degrees in Engineering Physics and Medicine and has a Masters in Psychology) and part business growth specialist, Swedish-born Markovski has business acumen, creativity and a genuine love of people in spades.
After spending 15 years spearheading change at Google, Adobe, Bazaarvoice and WPP, he’s helping Plexal’s clients transform their businesses and build purpose-driven teams that ultimately results in measurable growth. A believer in the power of behavioural insights and good old-fashioned empathy, he understands that innovation is carried out by people first and foremost.
In short, the sort of person you want holding your hand as you propel forwards into the next industrial revolution.
Francesca specialises in making sense of the most important micro and macro trends while helping businesses respond to change and, if necessary, transform their entire strategy.
As head of innovation programmes, she’s responsible for delivering some of our highest-profile programmes, including a project Plexal is running for Innovate UK to help scale the country’s top startups in the manufacturing and materials sector.
She brings with her six years’ experience working across the business at Ernst & Young (EY), working in the Ventures team to reinvent the consulting business model, while solving some of the biggest market issues. Prior to that she worked closely with clients to help them identify and respond to the opportunities and threats created by disruptive and emerging technologies. Working closely with technology startups, scaleups and innovators, her work spanned everything from developing prototypes, products and platforms to horizon scanning, business strategy and crafting the right go-to-market approach
Saj leads Cyber Innovation at Plexal. He is specifically responsible for developing and leading partnerships between LORCA and industry participants.
Prior to Plexal, he spent a number of years as a Management Consultant at Deloitte and PwC. He then moved into industry, leading strategic change at a PE-backed Property Finance firm where he helped them operationally scale towards achieving a UK Banking License, prepare for the incoming GDPR and improve their cyber and operational resilience in readiness for regulatory authorisation.
Saj started his career in the Royal Air Force, where he was a Commissioned Officer and Pilot. Outside of work, he is a keen runner; most frequently after his 2 young children, but also of the marathon variety too!
Russell blends the insight of 10+ years spent defining strategy and managing change, with in depth understanding of social research methods, design, and systems thinking. Russell has founded a service design business, worked with world leading healthcare technologies, held senior commissioning roles in the public sector, and built a consulting career within Capgemini and GE Finnamore.
Russell facilitates the design of better, more integrated services around the needs of people; achieved by enabling an effective dialogue between stakeholders with very divergent perspectives and interests, and translating it into action.
An entrepreneur himself, Prash is an innovation lead at Plexal – where he works with organisations to develop and deliver open innovation programmes. Whether he’s working with startups, corporates, academia, government organisations or a collaboration between them, he gains a deep understanding of their challenges before testing innovative solutions.
Before joining Plexal, Prash’s programme experience was developed by leading the running of the high-profile Arsenal Innovation Lab.
Tommy is an Innovation Lead at Plexal, where he works with large corporate clients to develop and deliver open innovation programmes. He is passionate about funding and building innovative businesses, projects and products from “an idea on a napkin” to successful ventures.
Before joining Plexal, Tommy worked at venture capital firm and accelerator BlueChilli, where he assisted in establishing their office and investment portfolio in Brisbane. He is an advisor to tech startups, has founded and driven his own business, and is a guest lecturer on entrepreneurship.
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