Canary Wharf Group to launch ‘Level39’, Europe’s largest Financial Technologies Accelerator Space

MEDIA RELEASE 1 October 2012

Canary Wharf Group plc has today announced plans to open Europe’s largest accelerator space for technology businesses innovating in the financial services sector.

Opening in early 2013 on the 39th floor of the iconic One Canada Square, London’s tallest operational office building, the incubator and accelerator space will be a sophisticated office and social space for small businesses to create, test, market and deliver world-class financial technology products and services.

The initiative aims to help improve the transparency, competitiveness and client services of the financial services sector, while enhancing London’s position as the technology capital of Europe. The new facility will create a focal point for Europe’s ‘FinTech’ innovators and ensure that London takes full advantage of the global surge in financial and big data technologies.

The accelerator will be called Level39 and occupy the entire 29,000 sq ft 39th floor. Towering above central London in one of the world’s premier business and shopping districts, Level39 will give small and growing technology businesses unrivalled access to new customers, partners, talent, investment, ideas and social and cultural amenities provided by Canary Wharf.

Canary Wharf Group will use Level39 to bring together its existing financial and professional services tenants, which employ over 100,000 people at Canary Wharf, and connect them with London’s burgeoning technology scene. The initiative will be led by Eric Van Der Kleij, technology entrepreneur and outgoing Chief Executive of Tech City Investment Organisation (“TCIO”). Van Der Kleij has been appointed by the Group to help Canary Wharf and Wood Wharf become even more attractive to the FinTech sector and the wider digital economy.

Level39’s layout has been designed in ‘tech industry’ style by renowned architects Gensler, who have worked on some of the world’s most exciting workspaces including offices for Facebook and Google. Work is already underway to transform the space, which will include:

• A modern reception area visually reflecting the technological innovation taking place at Canary Wharf and further afield
• An exclusive set of ‘sandboxes’ which will enable accelerator programmes, software engineers and builders of financial services platforms to refine, test and showcase their financial technology products in a safe, ring-fenced environment
• An express elevator with the 39th floor as the first stop
• A ‘Unique Technology Tunnel’ leading to the event space, capable of showing live data and incorporating interactive technology, allowing visitors to engage with thought provoking ideas and content prepared by Level39 companies
• A new 200 seat event space to host regular industry events and demonstration days with impressive views over the City of London
• The Level39 Business Club Lounge, which will host a membership-style club attracting leading industry figures and investors
• A growth-phase zone for businesses experiencing rapid expansion, making it easier to meet potential clients and partners, investors, mentors and other entrepreneurs. This will include an open plan kitchen.
• Semi-open and open-plan office areas to service the needs of early-stage and growth phase businesses

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Attracting the brightest entrepreneurial minds is crucial if London is to maintain its position as the world’s foremost financial centre. Level39 is sure to foster talent and help the capital’s technology and financial sectors flourish, in turn driving jobs and growth.”

Sir George Iacobescu CBE, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canary Wharf Group, said: “Canary Wharf is the ideal place to fuse together London’s world-leading financial sector with its burgeoning technology sector. If we do this successfully, it will help London’s financial services move forwards after several challenging years, benefitting the whole economy through enhanced competition, transparency and client services.

“Over the past 20 years, Canary Wharf has helped to maintain London’s competitive position by accommodating new business technologies. We aim to continue to do so by offering growing technology businesses with bespoke office space and property services that cater for rapidly changing requirements years into the future. Canary Wharf is seeking to complement and build upon existing successful technology clusters in the City Fringe, West End and South Bank.”

Eric Van Der Kleij said: “Level39 will help startups, accelerator programmes and fast growing technology companies connect with the business opportunities, talent, investment and advice provided by the world’s leading financial services providers already established at Canary Wharf and the City of London. We will partner with the world’s best FinTech investors, incubators and accelerator programmes to support businesses as they progress from start-up through to expansion and growth stages. This will be a place for industry experts to come together, share knowledge and develop up-and-coming talent with a view to bringing new products and services to the market.”

Canary Wharf Group has already established one of London’s leading technology, media and telecommunications clusters, with over 1 million square feet occupied by companies at Canary Wharf including Thomson Reuters, Infosys, Ogilvy & Mather, Samsung, Ricoh UK, Trinity Mirror, China Unicomm, Instinet, Sungard, Oracle Financial Services, The McGraw-Hill Companies and more. These companies are an important part of the wider Tech City cluster and directly employ over 7,000 people at Canary Wharf. With many thousands of additional technology professionals working at adjacent financial services companies, Canary Wharf is one of the world’s most technology intensive districts.

ENDS

FURTHER DETAILS
For further information, please contact:
Hamish McDougall
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: +44 (0)20 7418 2326
M: +44 (0)7779 888 075
E: Hamish.mcdougall@canarywharf.com
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. The Canary Wharf technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) community
Canary Wharf’s TMT sector occupiers range from innovative financial technology companies and IT consultancy businesses, to advertising and media groups and business information providers.
TMT companies at Canary Wharf include:
Citihub
Infosys
Trinity Mirror
3i Infotech
Interquest
Ricoh UK
Samsung
Sungard
Thomson Reuters
Oracle Financial Services Instinet
McGraw-Hill
Ogilvy & Mather

Business IT company Infosys has recently opened its Experience Centre at its Canary Wharf offices at 10 Upper Bank Street. The Experience Centre is a showcase for new software for Infosys’ clients and prospective clients.

Canary Wharf tenants like Citihub, Instinet and Ricoh are providers of high-frequency and event-driven trading platforms which are driving innovation in the financial services sector.

Canary Wharf is home to various members of the WIRED 100 (Wired magazine’s list of digital power brokers) over the past few years. For example Rory Sutherland, VP, Ogilvy Group UK and Alex Balfour, Head of New Media, London 2012.

Jane Moran, Chief Information Officer of Canary Wharf-based Thomson Reuters, was recently named one of the 10 most powerful women in the tech sector.

Canary Wharf Group recently launched Wired Wharf, a social network for the technology, media and telecomms community in Canary Wharf and beyond

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/WiredWharf
LinkedIn — Wired Wharf: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=190607602&trk=tab_pro
LinkedIn — Wired Wharf Community: http://linkd.in/Mb5dzS
2. About Canary Wharf Group plc
Canary Wharf Group plc is an integrated property development, investment and management group of companies. Canary Wharf has a working population of nearly 100,000 people in a diverse range of sectors for some of the world’s leading companies. It has paved the way for the regeneration of London’s Docklands and one in five Canary Wharf workers now lives in a local East London borough. It has helped London and the City consolidate its position at the centre of the business world.

Following the recent announcement to build a new headquarters for the European Medicines Agency at 25 Churchill Place, the Group has plans in place to continue to develop Canary Wharf in the coming years. This will be in parallel with other central London developments such as the Shell Centre on the South Bank (in a joint venture with Qatari Diar) and 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London (in a joint venture with Land Securities). The Group is currently constructing the Canary Wharf Crossrail station ahead of schedule and on budget, which is ready to receive the Crossrail tunnel boring machines in Summer 2012.

www.canarywharf.com Twitter: @yourcanarywharf