Blenheim Chalcot and Imperial College London – Scale Space

In 2018, Blenheim Chalcot, the UK’s leading digital venture builder, and the world leading University, Imperial College London agreed to jointly develop Scale Space, to be located in the heart of Imperial’s White City Campus, realising the ambition of making White City a leading Innovation District.

Blenheim Chalcot have built over 40 digital businesses since 1998 and have proven the benefit of creating a cluster of their own businesses in Hammersmith. All of the BC disruptive ed-tech, fin-tech, ad-tech and gov-tech businesses started in the same physical environment, including Agilisys, Avado, Modulr, Liberis, Salary Finance, Hive Learning and Clearscore – providing them with access to business-building support, regular collaboration and sharing events, a network of partners and collaborators, a community of like-minded business builders and flexible physical space.

With Scale Space, they saw an opportunity to support a broader community of business builders by creating a cluster focussed on innovation and growth, which would harness both local and Imperial talent. Doing this in partnership with Imperial College, a world leading university, has also broadened the ecosystem with know-how from leading academics and researchers. For Imperial College London it has provided a ‘living lab’ for their scale up professors (e.g. Professor Ramana Nanda), and brought other commercial organisations (e.g. DNA Nudge) to support its ambition of making White City a leading Innovation District.

June 2020, the first phase of Scale Space opened in White City, a 100,000 ft2 building designed to support high growth, innovative businesses. Scale Space is designed to be a community of members and supports them by giving the access to a like-minded network, expert know-how, events, mentors, support services and flexibility around the physical space they need. Within Scale Space White City, the Imperial College Business School is in residence, with research and teaching facilities – including the Centre for Financial Technology and the Imperial Lab for Entrepreneurial Research.

This sharing of expertise helps to identify Scale Space as a destination for talent and through programmatic talent clinics, Scale Space help member organisations to access talent from Imperial College, whether that is graduate recruitment or temporary project-based roles. In addition, the Scale Space community is easily identifiable to investors and support services who can access the community through Scale Space’s digital platform, Scale Space Connect.

With the first phase fully occupied, Scale Space is already a great community of business builders. The members are benefitting from multiple shared facilities – broadcast studios, town hall ‘pitching areas, client event areas, on-site catering, collaboration spaces and meeting facilities in a highly Covid-safe building with open space and great transport links. The members also benefit from regular fintech related events (e.g. hackathons, expert talks, government visits and corporate visits). It is now one of the largest digital technology hubs for scaling businesses (with over 1000 people on site) in the UK, and multiple corporate partners and investors now use the site as a base for their corporate venture plans.

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