Plexal: east London’s innovation centre
and coworking space

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.

 

 

Still got questions? Visit our FAQ page or contact us.

Plexal


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.

Our innovation team’s designed and delivered programmes like London RoadLab and the Innovate UK Scaleup Pilot, while our cyber team is delivering  LORCA (the London Office for Rapid Cyber Advancement). Along with Deloitte and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies, we’re running bespoke, six-month programmes for the country’s top cybersecurity companies while working with industry leaders to undertsand their most pressing cyber challenges.

Meet the team

Andrew Roughan

Managing director

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.

Brandon Hucq

Finance director

Brandon is an experienced CFO who can help Plexal members understand cash flow, business model issues and any other financial questions.

Meryl Folb

Head of people and culture

As our head of people and culture, Meryl’s recruited the Plexal team and is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Diane Gilbert

Social inclusion and innovation associate

Diane is the innovation associate for social inclusion at Plexal, and is passionate about using technology and innovation as a force for change and social impact. Her role involves working with corporate partners to help them identify and solve their inclusion challenges, as well as supporting OpenDoor: our accelerator programme for social entrepreneurs.

Before joining Plexal, Diane amassed over 10 years’ experience in project support, business development and executive assistance, working for organisations in the media, legal and accountancy sector – including News International, The Independent and C.C. Young & Co.

In her spare time, Diane enjoys running, yoga, trying out new restaurants in London and messing around on Cornish beaches with her children.

Philip Styles

Head of events

Our programme of events, from female-founder accelerators to sport tech hackathons, are managed by Philip and his capable team. Get in touch to learn more about our events programme.

Francesca Lavey

Programme director (mobility)

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 ran for Innovate UK to understand the challenges faced by scaleups in specific sectors and London RoadLab: a project Plexal delivered for Transport for London.

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 Huq

LORCA programme director

Saj leads Cyber Innovation at Plexal and is the Programme Director for LORCA.

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 Gundry

Head of innovation strategy

Russell blends the insight of 10+ years spent defining strategy and managing change with an in-depth understanding of social research methods, design, and systems thinking. He’s 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.

At Plexal, he’s leading our social inclusion work and is an advocate for designing action-oriented and user-centric programmes and solutions.

Folu Fabowale-Makinde

Innovation associate

As Plexal’s innovation associate, Folu immerses herself in the design and delivery of our innovation programmes for clients like Barclays, Innovate UK and Transport for London.

Before joining the Plexal team, she worked in the Advisory Ventures team at EY, a consultancy, to solve some of the biggest market issues across various sectors. This included everything from helping top tech startups scale with the Fast Growth Platform to developing new businesses and services by getting stuck into market research and sizing, opportunity assessment, financial modelling and competitor analysis.

Going even further back, Folu’s love of education and travel has seen her teach maths in the UK, Mexico and the US at a secondary school level.

These days, she’s most likely to be found on a long-distance run in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, organising themed games nights (organised fun is the best kind of fun, she tells us) and mourning the end of Game of Thrones.

Prashant Lagisetti

Innovation lead

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 Ekman

Innovation lead

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.

Plexal


Want to join us? Find out about jobs at Plexal

Jobs at Plexal