I was fortunate enough to attend the Startup Grind London Summer Party. This was a great networking opportunity, as well as an opportunity to hear from a venture capitalist.
Whilst the event was not aimed at being Digital Health specific, it was very notable that 70% of the people I spoke to have either an interest in healthcare technology, or were operating in this space.
Leeds is seen as the home of NHS IT, but London seems to be a very real nexus for healthcare tech start-ups.
An interesting aspect to why this may be is that so many events happen in London. It’s a great location to travel to, and it’s a great place for sight-seeing or socialising with friends and fellow delegates.
London is also rife with accelerators and working spaces, allowing you to learn, and burrow resources, from fellow start-ups around you. It also means you don’t necessarily have to be running your future tech behemoth from your garage.
London also has some great coffee shops, brilliant for dress-down meetings, or just an excuse for another hit of that fine, fine dark nectar. The queue for Monmouth Coffee is a great place to catch up on what’s happening with a friend.
But, most importantly, London allows you to move quickly. Almost anything you could want is on hand, people are in relatively close proximity, and you will be literally tripping over NHS organisations in London.
Outside of London, it can seem like you’re working in a void. It’s a long trek to a fellow business, or a long commute to your accelerator, or getting to networking events can be a huge expedition.
It’s true that London is a bubble, entering it is like passing through a worm-hole into a different country. But, once you’re in, you’ll find that so many things come just that little bit easier; from friends, to business opportunities.
If you’re looking to start a business, or thinking about enveloping yourself in the kind of start-up culture you would find in Silicon Valley, London is a great port of call to begin your journey into the world of start-ups in digital health.
However, don’t go into this expecting money to be flowing easily from investors. They want to see good ideas, good teams, and a well thought out financial plan, even at a seed stage. London’s seed investing behaves much more like Silicon Valley’s A round. So, if you need outside money, make sure you have all of your ducks in a row.
There are huge opportunities for disruption in the healthcare space, and the pace of innovation required can really only come (in the majority) from start-ups with well-focussed aims, and practical means to deliver.
I’ll be bringing you more insight into the start-up scene here in London. As well as my day job at a large supplier, I will also be working with a digital health start-up. It’s exciting to be right on the front-line of such fast-paced innovation.
But, there’s just enough time for one more visit to Monmouth Coffee before we get started.