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We speak to Jaguar Land Rover’s James Nettleton to find out how they’ve settled in

InMotion, a subsidiary of Jaguar Land Rover, has made its home in a fully managed office in Shoreditch, with the help of Kontor. The team’s workspace requirements were specific: a trendy space that could be personalised to attract startups, alongside the flexibility of no long-term commitment. We speak to InMotion’s head of accelerator programme James Nettleton to find out how they’ve settled in.

(To see a 360° walkthrough of InMotion’s space click on the top right pic!)

What exactly is InMotion?
InMotion invests in technology for sectors such as transport and smart cities. Here in London we run an innovation lab, and combine the insight that it produces with entrepreneurial and technical talent to build new startup businesses. The large part of the Jaguar Land Rover business is based in the Midlands, but we wanted to be in the hub of Tech City.

Is that why you chose Shoreditch?
Ideally we would have been closer to Kings Cross or Euston as some staff commute in from the Midlands, but the office stock just isn’t there yet. This is a great location for the businesses we’re building here and space is a core part of our proposition to them – we house them for a certain period of time.

What were your criteria when searching for space?
Space that would give us flexibility but also be personal, so the team feels that they are somewhere with an identity. Location, capacity and the overall atmosphere were also very important.

Kontor really understand the market, and really understood our requirements. This office was half built, but Luke and Sam knew it was coming online so suggested we take a look. When we took the space the downstairs was still a building site so we had to trust they would finish the space in a good way, which they did. We wanted an office with space for events, and the downstairs here is ideal.

How much flexibility were you looking for? 
We were in a tricky position in some respects, as we didn’t want to make a long-term commitment, but most co-working spaces don’t offer enough personalisation for us. It was obvious from the beginning that we would go for a managed space, as we didn’t have the time to fit the space out, but we also wanted our own space – we needed to be self-contained. We also have a finite number of startups we can take on for a period, so we don’t need ongoing flexibility in that respect.

How important was it that the space reflects your brand?
That was a challenge for us, because we needed a certain appearance for our brand but we wanted to be in managed space. When you don’t have your own building, you have to take what you’re given up to a point in terms of furniture and so on as you don’t want to spend a fortune.

We were looking for a very specific image. There’s a spectrum in managed spaces ranging from the very corporate to the scrappier startup world. We needed the best of both worlds: somewhere entrepreneurs would feel at home, but where we could also host investors. This space feels like a good balance between the two.

Has the team settled into the space?
They really like it, it’s a great location and the space feels like our own. For the first home of InMotion, it’s ideal.

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