Saturday 19 October 2019

Lynch's co-working firm to double its footprint with UK and Europe offices


Andrew Lynch and Gabriela Hersham, co-founders of Huckletree
Andrew Lynch and Gabriela Hersham, co-founders of Huckletree
Huckletree Dublin

John Reynolds

Dubliner Andrew Lynch is doubling the footprint of Huckletree, the co-working business he founded with fellow entrepreneur Gabriela Hersham.

The expansion will see the firm, which has four spaces at present, open a new one later this year in a Manchester building owned by the Weston family, owners of Brown Thomas and Penneys.

Huckletree, which has over 2,000 members and currently occupies Twitter's former Dublin HQ, as well as three properties in London, will also open a sixth space in London's Soho in the coming weeks. Two more new spaces are planned, one in the UK and one in Europe, it is understood.

The Soho space, the firm's first in central London, will cater for more than 300 people across four floors in a post-war brutalist concrete building, Ingestre Court.

Close to five tube stations, including Oxford Circus and Bond Street, the property will include the firm's first café and a learning studio for members.

It sees Huckletree partnering with Westminster City Council to revive the space and reactivate a part of the district, the firm said.

Founding members there will include Silicon Valley Bank and venture capital firm Concentric Ventures.

"We are excited to be opening our doors to the vibrant creative community of Soho, a place we hold in high regard as London's original creative district," Lynch said. "It allows us to partner with Westminster City Council to revive a part of Soho that had been left behind.

"With our founding members already on board, we hope Huckletree Soho will unite the UK's most exciting investment funds with other exciting serial entrepreneurs and leading members of the global innovation ecosystem."

In Manchester, Huckletree will take three floors in the grade two-listed Express Building, which was built in 1939 for the Daily Express newspaper.

The property is being refurbished by owners Wittington Investments, a holding company for the Weston family's multi-billion euro business empire, which includes a majority stake in Associated British Foods and assorted other property, hotel and retail businesses in Canada, Holland and Britain including Primark/Penneys.

Here in Dublin, Huckletree's in-house Alpha accelerator programme is seeking pre-seed startups with under-represented female, LGBTQ-plus and black, Asian and minority ethnic founders.

It will offer them three months of free expert workshops, mentoring and membership of its community of investors and entrepreneurs, beginning next month.

Aislinn Mahon, manager of the Dublin space, said: "We don't take equity or charge membership fees. We're simply on a mission to help Ireland's most talented under-represented founders have an equal shot at getting their business ideas off the ground."

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