I recently visited Level39 at Canary Wharf’s One Canada Square to scope out the venue for the second in our series of Bamboo Strong Workshops for Entrepreneurs, Startups and SMEs.

Wow, HOW mightily impressed we were!

That’s me below with Eric Vidal, fellow facilitator and Naomi Doolan, Ecosystem Development Coordinator for Level39 – I think you can see the excitement in our faces.

Level39 is a hive of activity across a vast space in Canada Tower – hot desks and dedicated incubators, open coffee and lunch areas, fantastic 360 views of London and the Thames.



This 4-year old “Billion Dollar Ecosystem” is already the most connected tech space in London and boasts Europe’s largest fintech community.

Over 46,000 people walked through its doors in 2017 to spend time with its 200 members, 48 nationalities and more than 900 employees. As Ben Brabyn, Head of Level39, puts it:

“Technology has made financial services more affordable, accessible and efficient than ever, leaving the banks facing a cliff edge of digital disruption. Meanwhile the shifting sands of Western politics and the rampant growth of the Asia market are fueling unprecedented international competition.”


Ben says there are 3 major challenges ahead:

  • The banks must equip themselves with the technologies to transform their core functionality, customer offerings, acquisition and behaviour, cybersecurity capabilities and payment infrastructure.
  • They have to forge much richer connections between the banks and tech startups and scaleups
  • They have to consolidate their relationships with finance’s outstanding growth market – Asia


In our conversations we learned that one of the biggest challenges for UK or European startups and entrepreneurs was developing the necessary long-term relationships with potential or current investors and partners.

This was particularly so with investors from the various high-tech Asian economies such as Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan and China.

And that is exactly the challenge we explore in our first Bamboo Strong Workshop beginning on 1st December at ALLIA Future Business Centre in East London – how to help UK and European entrepreneurs and startups develop the necessary long-term relationships with potential or current investors and partners overseas, especially those from China and the Asia region. We will be focusing on Asian mindset, cultural intelligence and cross-cultural communication skills.


In fact, Level39 hosts a venture capital accelerator set up especially for investing in Europe and US Startups called Silk Ventures.

Backed by the Chinese government, Silk Ventures raised its first fund worth $500 million back in May 2017.



The firm is eyeing up investments in “deep-tech” startups in the UK, Europe and the US with potential to expand in China, including areas such as AI and robotics, the internet of things (IoT), fintech and medtech.

So the UK, US and Europe are becoming increasingly attractive to Asia firms looking to scout out the latest developments in technology development.

Meanwhile, the 10 diverse markets of Southeast Asia are attracting more foreign inward investment than ever before – higher even than China.


If you are a company or entrepreneur looking to build relationships, network and negotiate with Asian investors or partners, or entering Asia’s high growth markets, in addition to the Workshop you can apply for:

Winning in Asia Business Strategy Session

In this complimentary 30-minute session via Skype, I will offer you the expertise of my two books The Master Key to China and The Master Key to Asia:

  • To take a deep dive into your Asia-related business and help you diagnose what’s working and what needs fixing
  • To create an action plan to improve your Asia relationships skills, Asia country strategy, sales and revenue generation.
  • To get you moving in the right direction – towards better results, better relationships and bigger profits!


The first of the Bamboo Strong – Business Accelerator Workshops begins on 1st December at Allia Future Business Centre in East London, presented by myself and Eric Vidal, Digital Brand Strategist and Startup Mentor.

Aimed at Entrepreneurs, SMEs, Digital Innovators and Startups, this 3-hour workshop will focus on developing team motivation, alignment and global mindset in today’s super-connected, digitally disruptive economy.

We are offering a 25% discount on the regular ticket price. Just enter the promotional code DCP-25 when you purchase your ticket below:

Bamboo Strong – Business Accelerator Workshop

Hope to see you there!


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