A community built for innovators, by innovators
Introducing Plexal City
Plexal was 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 from all walks of life and space to think or create in quiet.
Cities provide both these functions, which is why they have been hotbeds of innovation for thousands of years.
Book your tour to see our mini-city.Book a Tour
Founded by Claire Cockerton, whose previous experience includes Level39 and Innovate Finance alongside clients of specialist real estate investment advisory company Delancey, Plexal was officially opened by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan in June 2017.
But our story begins in 2012, when our building was home to the press centre of the London 2012 Olympic Games. We’re proud of our Olympic legacy and it influences much of what we do. The world of startups and innovation is certainly a competitive one.
Since we opened our doors as London’s largest innovation centre in 2017 we’ve made rapid progress, filling up with amazing tech startups and hosting hackathons, conferences, launches and meetups.
We’ve also recently launched our Plexiglass accelerator programme to help-female-founded businesses scale.
Last but not least, we’re incredibly proud that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has chosen Plexal to host London’s Cyber Security Innovation Centre.
Meet the team
Claire is Founder & CEO of Plexal with expertise in tech clusters, innovation services and startup ecosystems. She founded ENTIQ, an innovation advisory and delivery firm, responsible for running world-leading innovation programmes for companies such as EY, Euroclear, Dassault Systemes and many more. ENTIQ also designed and delivered Cognicity, a smart city technology pilot programme in Canary Wharf which resulted in job creation, investment, awards, international exposure and client contracts for the participating SMEs.
Having designed and developed the Level39 Technology Accelerator in its first two years, Claire was responsible for building the brand of Fintech not only for Canary Wharf but more broadly for the UK, working closely with fintech businesses and large banks alike to understand the challenges and opportunities for innovation and growth in new finance.
Claire was founding Director and CEO of Innovate Finance (IF), a City of London and Canary Wharf Group-backed movement for a more diverse, resilient, accessible and consumer-centric financial services sector. Launched by ENTIQ, 54 fintech Founders and the Chancellor, Innovate Finance’s vision was to radically transform every aspect of banking to deliver more choice, better products and services, and benefit to society. Claire’s work since the very inception resulted in favourable policy change for fintech businesses, a regional outreach strategy, trade missions to New York and Singapore, historic events (such as the inaugural IF global summit), 100-plus members, and a strong, recognised brand with a powerful mission at its heart.
An Imperial College MBA alumna, specialising in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Design, her distinguished thesis explored incubators, tech transfer and accelerator models from around the world. She helped establish the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg, South Africa and she advised the Guardian Media Group on their ‘Digital First’ transformation strategy. During her time at The Guardian, she helped implement a company-wide change programme resulting in the launch of their world-class apps, dynamic web content and social media penetration.
Prior to coming to the UK in 2009, Claire founded, grew and sold Aesthetic Earthworks, a multi-million dollar sustainable architecture firm which pioneered environmentally friendly property development and care, based in Toronto, Canada.
Claire is an active member of the Guild of Entrepreneurs, The Mayor of London’s Tech Ambassador Group, Tech London Advocates, Women in Tech and is a fellow at the Royal Society of the Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce.
Lydia Ragoonanan is the programme lead for the London Cyber Innovation Centre. 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 six-year-old daughter.
Tommy has a genuine passion for the startup way of innovating. Before Joining Plexal he assisted Australian venture capital fund and accelerator BlueChilli in founding a satellite office in Brisbane . He has acted as an advisor to businesses across Australia, and has been part of multiple journeys that have transformed ideas into million-dollar startups.
He is an ambassador for Angelhack, the world’s largest hackathon organization, and a university guest lecturer on entrepreneurship.
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.
When he’s not regaling us with piano concertos, Hunt delivers innovation programmes for clients and helps bridge connections between startups, scaleups, corporates and academia.
Before joining Plexal, Hunt designed and delivered workshops for Capgemini and helped shape its emerging tech and innovation capability in the UK.
Want to join us? Find out about jobs at PlexalJobs at Plexal