We asked our community one question: what’s the best thing about being a member of Plexal? Here’s what they told us…
MOONHUB has been in Plexal for just over two years now and the time has honestly flown by. Entering this space was possibly one of the best decisions we made as a founding team, as it has provided us with a fantastic workspace in which we’ve gone from strength to strength by firstly renting hot desks, then fixed desks to now being in our very own private office overlooking Canalside.
The Plexal community has been vital for us as it’s allowed us to network with others and gain opportunities that we otherwise wouldn’t have had access to, including seeking advice and connections for investment opportunities.
Social activities have made this not just an office space, but a true community. And as cheesy as it sounds, we’ve made real friends for life in both the Plexal team and companies that are also based here. These activities have also helped us in developing our own work culture, and we know exactly what we’d like to include in our social activities in the future.
The Plexal team themselves genuinely want to help the startups here and offer support in the form of virtual professional services covering legal, insurance and investment advice.
From a personal perspective, as one of the female founders of MOONHUB, I’ve worked with the Plexal team in offering Women in Business lunches. This has provided me and other female colleagues with networking and social opportunities.
Lastly, due to the COVID pandemic, Plexal has been incredibly supportive and informative. It has really pushed for the local council to offer financial grants to tech startups in its space. We definitely envision ourselves staying here for the foreseeable future.
Our business moved from a basement in Islington to a major tech hub. Being in Plexal has helped us improve our credibility and seen us through the transition from startup to scaleup.
In Plexal there’s room to breathe and think. There is a perfect space for pretty much any type of work or business function, from quiet booths to formal meeting rooms, an indoor park and a major events space. Every customer who visits us comments positively.
From a personal perspective, Plexal’s location in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is hugely uplifting. On difficult days a walk by the canal or down the River Lea can make the difference and keeps me motivated.
Plexal is filled with a huge variety of exciting companies and individuals at different stages of their journey. There’s always someone to talk to who is experiencing similar challenges or can offer advice and moral support. There are many companies that can become suppliers or customers here, so it’s a great ecosystem to be part of. In fact, we’re partnering with both Here East and Plexal itself! Plexal has even allowed us to test innovative technical ideas in the space for some of our customers.
Since the start of lockdown, Plexal has been an exemplary landlord and supported us with flexibility on our rent, safe access to our office to retrieve equipment when necessary and even lobbying local government to make sure small and micro businesses were eligible for grant funding. They even lent us some furniture for home working. And when lockdown was lifted, Plexal provided a safe and very organised environment to return to.
The best thing about Plexal is the sense of community. Everyone is really friendly and approachable, which helped to make us feel welcome from the start. It's a unique atmosphere. We missed it a lot during the lockdown period, but even as we worked remotely we felt supported. Plexal is great for networking, too. We’re part of the LORCA programme and have found the mentoring and support to be invaluable.
Since we joined Plexal around two years ago, Fiit has scaled our team from 14 people to over 40. Plexal was the perfect environment for Fiit to grow, thanks to the energy of a shared working space, the flexibility to grow, the connections with other startups and of course the support of the amazing community team. The frequent events run by Plexal supported our company culture of teamwork, collaboration and fun. Whether it was the weekly coffee mornings, pizza evenings or larger parties, there are always great opportunities to socialise as a company and connect with other members.
Plexal is built perfectly for startups. The team understands exactly what’s required: a flexible, tailored and supported co-working space that allows us to grow and shrink where appropriate for opportunities.
A large advantage Plexal has over other co-working spaces is being able to attract the highest tier speakers and events to the space. This has on multiple occasions led to people we wanted to speak to coming to us for these events, which is incredibly valuable for establishing relationships and business partnerships. It also adds a layer of excitement to the office, knowing opportunity literally walks in our door some days.
We’ve also done business with other Plexal members since arriving, have collaborated on shared business problems with other members and in general have a great rapport with companies in other sectors that are growing and learning too. There’s an ecosystem here of interesting companies and ambitious, fearless ideas.
We have worked in other coworking spaces where, because of our small team size, were treated second-class in place of larger companies. That hasn’t been the case here, and we’re now in position to grow 3-5x in the next nine months due to the support and enthusiasm we receive.
Most recently Plexal has been sensational to us during the pandemic and during another difficult moment we endured. They have really felt like an extension of our own team, supporting us to not just survive tough moments, but accelerating out of the other side.
Plexal is a space to work that isn’t at home, and it feels professional. Everyone else is also working so I get less distracted and get more done than when I’m working from home. But it has become a lot more than that.
It’s also a place to get some company easily while working. It’s easy to feel isolated when working from home – especially if you live alone – but at Plexal there are always friendly, familiar faces to say hello to. The community team are lovely and always ready to chat.
It’s good to hang out with other entrepreneurs and businesses too. My company is very small and it’s useful to hear the experiences of those who have expanded from a small base. I’ve had informal tips from other members numerous times, such as on getting an intern, software for training and microphones to use for meetings.
During the pandemic Plexal seems to be one of the safest indoor spaces to be. The high ceilings and the fact it’s never crowded and is now very spaced out make it possible to be socially distanced very easily. In this aspect it’s very different from most coworking spaces I’ve visited. I’m reassured by everything I hear about how seriously the team takes the COVID risk and the measures they’re taking to keep members safe. I stopped coming for a while, but in hindsight I think I could have safely worked at Plexal all the way through (as I gather a few people did).
The events for members have been helpful and sociable. I first found out about Plexal from an event that was held here for women in business. I now attend the women in business meetings here regularly. I had some free advice on financing my business and did a four-week course in BSL, which was great fun. I was also asked to speak at an online event for Pride week, which gave me a chance to reflect on how central equality is to my business.
At Love Language, we’ve sourced great benefit from our Plexal membership – namely the connections and partnerships we’ve formed as a result of having access to the established network of businesses.
From the beginning of our Plexal journey, we were welcomed, supported and empowered to form connections with other business entities. We’ve made use of Plexal’s vast network of connections to form lasting partnerships with organisations such as Barclays and Loughborough University, which is based at the Here East campus.
Even during the testing times during the pandemic, we felt well looked after and Plexal’s managing director Andrew Roughan checked in regularly with our team and the office remained accessible.
We were attracted to Plexal as a hub for technological expertise and design, and we hope to continue to contribute to this as we develop our business further with sign language accessible video platforms.