Microsoft opens Shoreditch startup space Reactor

 
Lynsey Barber
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Reactor will host hackathons, meetups and startups (Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft is the latest company eyeing up London's hot shot startups with a $20m (£14.3m) investment in a new space in Shoreditch, opening today.

Reactor will host the Silicon Valley tech giant's accelerator for scale-ups, along with a space for events such as hackathons to help grow the capital's startup ecosystem.

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"This is a long term investment in Britain," said Microsoft managing director for startups and scale-up programme in the UK, Warwick Hill.

"It's a good thing for UK business and to help them go global. London is the epicentre in the UK. It's a good investment for us pre and post-Brexit."

It's just the latest of several new tech spaces to pop up in the city, but Hill said it was the involvement of clients such as Vodafone, Rolls Royce and Kingfisher which will make it stand out against others that have just a single corporate backer.

London is the the first Reactor space in Europe after locations in New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Microsoft is planning to open one in Sydney and is also considering launching further spaces in Europe.

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"There are plans to look at Berlin, and obviously France is a big pull with Station F [startup space]," said Hill.

It's also a play to get smaller companies using Microsoft, particularly its cloud services, an area in which it is competing with Amazon and Google.

The capital is the third largest target country for its cloud business and alos has a large developer community.

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