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s the geography of
Londons startup cluster
becomes more spread
out, entrepreneurs are
minding the gaps by more neatly
organising around niche ecosystems,
in order to meet fellow sector
innovators, nd experienced talent
and prove their concepts among
expert peers.
Although the story of the past ve
years reveals ntech as the driver of
many of the headlines and growth,
with Deloitte estimating some 44,000
people now work in this area, London
is also home to a growing number of
more subterranean communities.
The startup scene has grown


Kirsty Styles,
senior reporter,
Tech City News

massively and as a result more

focused niches have emerged, like
ntech, madtech, edtech, conrms
Vicky Hunter, community lead at
tech community network 3 Beards.
This move into specialisation is
evidence that the scene has matured
way beyond its infancy and is starting
to channel down into more detailed
aspects of business and innovation.

Because of its melting-pot status,
London is, perhaps disputably,
the number one destination for
gastronomers globally.
With almost 40,000 places to
choose from, you can grab Vietnamese
in Shoreditch, Turkish in Green Lanes,
Arabic on the Edgware Road, or head
to one of the many outdoor markets to
pick up some local produce or street
But from eld, to fork to bin,
our sanitised supermarkets and
convenient takeaways easily distract
us from the resource intensity,
inefciency and waste behind your
favourite treats.


Foodtech entrepreneurs from all

over the world are trying to solve
problems like these and in May 2015
alone, there were two global foodtech
acquisitions totalling $1.3bn, along
with 21 fundraising rounds, bagging
$549m between them, according to
FoodTech Connect.
Things are changing in food but its
been slower than other areas because
it has such a mature value-chain, its
so ingrained in customer behaviour
to go to the supermarket, says Simon
Menashy, investment director at MMC
Ventures. Ecommerce is only about
2% of the market, it took Ocado 10
years to get to where it is today, but
even if food ecommerce only gets
to 10% or 20%, thats an enormous
Although meal delivery and
ecommerce have been dominant
themes in recent funding rounds, the
ecosystem spans payments, delivery,
loyalty and recipes. In 2014 alone,
six new food crowdfunding platforms
launched along with 15 accelerators
and 21 investment funds to help
budding food techies. The Grocery
Accelerator launched in London
this year to support the burgeoning
foodtech sector in the city.
One of those innovators is
London-based Winnow, which
creates technology to help chefs cut
food waste in half, reducing costs
while doing the right thing for the
Globally a third of all food is
wasted, and food waste costs the
hospitality sector around $80bn
annually in the developed world, says
David Jackson, business development
lead at Winnow. Kitchens using the
Winnow System have now saved
over 2m in reduced annual food
purchasing costs.

He explains: The
UK absolutely has the
potential to become a
global foodtech leader. We have
world leading chefs and restaurants, a
thriving tech community and growing
interest from investors so the potential
is huge. In our two years since launch
weve seen the foodtech sector rapidly
expand. Today, Winnow has been
deployed in over 150 kitchens, and we
look forward to continuing to grow
with the rest of the community.
There is some dispute about what
exactly we mean by cleantech, perhaps
because it encompasses areas as
diverse as the hard engineering of
renewable solutions, recycling services
and cleanweb digital tech.
The increasing efforts to create
smart cities, including the likes of
Canary Wharf Groups Cognicity
accelerator programme, can be seen
to demonstrate the application of
cleantech in the most logical place to
make an impact: everywhere.
Cleantech took a hit when the
growing market in the US went bust in
2008, which was due to a combination

of different issues, not

least the nancial crisis,
but also the increase in local
natural gas reserves from fracking
and Chinas efforts in solar.
But the science around the changes
in our global climate has become
increasingly difcult to ignore and
although investors have been burned
in the past, Boris Johnson and Gerard
Grech from Tech City UK have both
used their status in 2015 to endorse
the idea that London can and should
lead on this.
The 2014 Global Cleantech 100
list found that 28% of companies
that made the cut were from Europe,
with the UK contributing the most
companies with 7, says entrepreneur
Sam Gill, CEO of ET Index, which
helps investors understand the
investment risks related to the carbon
footprint of companies they invest in.
While data from Bloomberg
New Energy Finance shows global
cleantech investment jumped 16% in
2014 to $310bn, the UK saw modest
growth at 3%, totalling $15.2bn.
There is certainly a lot of activity in
this space, and there is denitely a lot
further to go given the issue of climate