Poplar: An alternative destination for East London startups

A few months ago, we announced the BIG news that Launch22 would be opening up its second location in Poplar, East London. Since then, we’ve:

Kitted out our new coworking space (with the help of our volunteers; you know who you are!)

Late evenings and lots of Pizza 🍕

Late evenings and lots of Pizza 🍕

Launched Launch22 with a launch party 🎉 (Phew that was a mouthful…)

Thanks,  Raven Hill Brewery  for the beers!

Thanks, Raven Hill Brewery for the beers!

We’ve been open for three months now and, after settling in and getting the lay of the land, we’ve been blown away by the abundance of opportunities in the area for anyone looking to launch a business. Aside from coworking and office space, Poplar has plenty of other pull-factors!

History

Fun fact: Poplar is home to the oldest purpose-built, pedestrianised marketplace and shopping area in the UK. Staying true to its roots, Poplar is now known for its daily fruit, veg and bric-a-brac vendors, who sell their goods under the famed clocktower, built in 1951.

Food

One of our missions, when we arrived in Poplar, was to find the best foodie spots. Turns out, there are some damn good places to grab a bite! Whether you are looking for an old fashioned EastEnders Pie & Mash, some Haitian inspired cuisine at Kafe 1788, or a slice of fresh pizza from the Pizza Room, Poplar’s got you covered! On the last Friday of every month, the market also transforms into “Bite”, a street food market to satisfy any foodie’s cravings.

A Solid Investment! 

If you’ve got a startup business in finance, you might be interested to know that Poplar is a 10-minute walk away from London’s financial district — Canary Wharf. Not only is it the financial epicentre of the city, there’s a myriad of places to grab some food, and some lovely parks and spots by the river to eat it! 

Local Business

There’s more business to Poplar than just being neighbours with Canary Wharf. One thing we have really enjoyed is the enthusiasm from local organisations to collaborate. We are working closely with local housing association Poplar HARCA to devise a support programme for local businesses. A fashion workspace — Poplar Works (an initiative by Poplar HARCA) will be opening at the end of the summer. And then there’s Poplar Union, Bromley by Bow Centre, Spotlight, the list goes on… 

Local pleasure!

Poplar boasts a thriving community in and amongst the hustle and bustle of daily life. There are always activities going on, from free workshops (lots of which we host in our workspace) to book clubs, to yoga! It’s safe to say we’re excited to be here and the timing couldn’t be better, as Poplar HARCA has received planning permission for their grand regeneration plan for the area. In their words it will “keep the best of what’s here while providing an improved retail offering; more homes, including more social and affordable; more services and amenities and a greater focus on our heritage.” We like the sound of that!

In review, combine the collaboration opportunities, the affordability (fixed desks start at £240PM in Launch22 coworking area), transport links and proximity to the likes of Canary Wharf, Poplar has the potential to become a thriving community for small and early-stage businesses.

So: what are you waiting for?! Hop on the DLR and come check out Launch22 and the rest that Poplar has to offer.