If you’re setting up a web-based business in London, there are lots of resources that can come in handy once you know about them. I thought I’d share some of my favourites here in case there a few you don’t yet know about.

This is a selection of everything from interesting events to attend and good books to read through to tools to boost your effectiveness. Some of them will only be useful if you’re based in London or often visit here; the others are more widely applicable:

  1. BootLaw – free events where you can get your legal questions answered (and be entertained, too!)
  2. Microsoft BizSpark – startup community offering free Microsoft software
  3. DrinkTank – drink beer with startup founders and occasional investors
  4. Launch48 – meet potential co-founders and try to start a business in a weekend
  5. Startup Weekend – meet potential co-founders and try to start another business in a weekend
  6. Minibar – see entrepreneurs pitch their startups while you drink free beer
  7. London Business School Entrepreneurial Leadership Lectures – hear experienced founders talk
  8. UK Business Forums – get nuts and bolts advice from owners of small businesses
  9. SeedSummit Term Sheets – see how the investment terms you’ve been offered stack up against ‘standard’ ones.
  10. Don’t Make Me Think – learn how to make your website easier to use
  11. Visual Website Optimizer – run A/B tests easily and get more from your website
  12. Google Apps (free edition) – host up to 10 email accounts for free
  13. Ajax Whois – quickly check whether domain names are available
  14. MailChimp – send mass emails and track what happens to them (and get UI inspiration!)
  15. Viral Marketing – a nice article on the Maths behind viral marketing
  16. Super Conversion Button – create good call-to-action web buttons [no longer available]
  17. Load Impact – easily run load tests on your website
  18. Linode – get cheap, reliable hosting in UK or US data centres (but set the servers up yourself)
  19. Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords – learn how to run Adwords campaigns
  20. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – understand how to nudge people into doing what you want
  21. TechCrunch Europe – read the European bit of the blog that every startup person reads
  22. Fiverr – get small tasks done for $5 (try this out for fun at the very least!)
  23. Pingdom – get an alert if your website goes down while you’re at Minibar drinking beer
  24. Lean Startup – methodology to help figure out whether you’re starting the right business
  25. Mixergy – learn from interviews with successful entrepreneurs
  26. Hacker News – read what technically-minded startup people are finding interesting at the moment
  27. Hacker News London – meet technically-minded startup people in the flesh. Drink beer with them
  28. Business Link – find official government information about business regulations
  29. WordPress – build all sorts of websites quickly and cheaply (definitely not just for blogs)
  30. Woothemes – get a great-looking theme for your website
  31. Clicky – get realtime analytics for your website (and impress your co-founders with their very cool ‘big-screen’ display)
  32. SurveyMonkey – run surveys easily
  33. SendGrid – make sure your emails get delivered
  34. TechHub – work surrounded by fellow entrepreneurs at this startup-centric office space
  35. OpenSoho – have drinks with startup and digital media folks
  36. Facebook Developer Garage – find out the latest goings-on in the world of Facebook (update: no longer running)
  37. Mobile Monday London – find out the latest goings-on in the world of mobile
  38. LRUG -meet smart Ruby developers and learn clever coding tips and techniques
  39. Moo – order yourself some cute mini business cards
  40. TweetDeck – track lots of things at once on Twitter
  41. Magento – set up a powerful e-commerce website
  42. Bit.ly – see how many times people click on the links you share
  43. Starbucks – get fairly reliable free wifi almost anywhere in London
  44. Le Pain Quotidien – hang out in a nice cafe environment with free wifi
  45. British Library Business & IP Centre – get free access to market research reports
  46. Out-law.com – find legal information about IT and e-commerce
  47. 99designs – get a logo designed
  48. SeedSummit – find seed investors
  49. The E-myth Revisited – learn why you should create a system
  50. Seth Godin – learn why you should forget your system
  51. Getting Real – read how to build web apps faster and more easily
  52. The Ultimate Sales Machine – read ideas about how to sell more effectively
  53. Appsumo – save money on stuff for your startup
  54. Google Alerts – find out whenever someone mentions your startup online
  55. SEOMoz Search Ranking Factors – learn what’s important for appearing high up in search engine results
  56. The Four Steps to the Epiphany – read the original bible of the Lean Startup movement
  57. The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development – read the cheat-sheet version of the Lean Startup bible
  58. Ogilvy on Advertising – understand advertising better
  59. Google+ – get dabbling. It could become important for SEO
  60. Twitter – follow fellow entrepreneurs to pick up some great tips
  61. Paul Graham’s Essays – pick up entrepreneurial wisdom from the guy behind Y-Combinator
  62. Futuristic Play – learn more about online marketing
  63. A Smart Bear – absorb entrepreneurial wisdom from an experienced founder
  64. Adwords Keyword Tool – find out how many people are searching for something
  65. oDesk – hire people on the other side of the world
  66. PickyDomains – challenge people to find you a great domain name or slogan
  67. Enternships – hire entrepreneurially-minded interns
  68. Seedcamp – get money and coaching in return for a share in your business
  69. UserTesting – find out whether anyone can use your website
  70. PSD2HTML – convert that slick PSD your designer created into CSS and HTML
  71. Sedo – buy a decent domain name
  72. VirtualBox – run a virtual Windows machine so you can test old and annoying versions of IE, even if you have a new and shiny Mac
  73. Dropbox – share documents with your co-founders
  74. Google Docs – share documents with your co-founders and edit them together
  75. ProductTank – hobnob with product managers
  76. London Startup Digest – get a curated email of London’s startup-related goings-on
  77. Social Innovation Camp – do something good with your talents
  78. Toastmasters – become more confident talking in front of an audience
  79. Enterprise Finance Guarantee – get backing from the government to help you get a loan
  80. The Gary Halbert Letter – improve your copywriting
  81. PatternTap – web UI design patterns
  82. Technology Strategy Board – enter funding competitions and apply for grants
  83. The Equity Kicker – read views from Nic Brisbourne, a London VC
  84. Dragon’s Den – entertain your friends and family by pitching your business on TV
  85. OpenCoffee – attend weekly coffee meetups and mingle with budding entrepreneurs

Last, one bonus resource [something I’ve set up]:

I hope that’s helped you discover at least a few new things that will come in handy.

Did you find this useful? If so, please retweet it now:

Photo by Lillais.Burke.


Zebedee · August 3, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Well handy list Matt. Very generous collaboration blog.

James · August 4, 2011 at 12:04 am

Nice work Matt, glad you started blogging again…


john · August 4, 2011 at 8:27 am

Great rersource list- If you have no objections i am going to zip it around my network of universities, incubators and enterprise networks at http://www.capitalenterprise.org. I will see if I can come up with a simarly good list of organisations not on your list offering useful things such as free/subsidised accomodation, seed capital, training, advice, help with R&D, soft loans, contacts and talent for London’s start-ups.

matt · August 4, 2011 at 8:36 am

Hi John,

Of course. That would be great.


John · August 5, 2011 at 9:13 am

Fantastic list Matt – here are 2 more free resources that may be of interest:

1 Guide to Raising Investment


2. Business Model Innovation


louise · September 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Great list Matt, London is the place to be!

Job Centre · September 21, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Matt – perfect and usefull collection!

Since we are talking about London I would change Fiverr with http://MyJobCentre.co.uk/ as this is like Fiverr just a way better. Ment for UK and everything there is in UK pounds and with cool flexibility to add value to your micro e- gig.


matt · September 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

@louise: Thanks Louise!

@Anne: Thanks for your comment. Best of luck getting traction with your site. I know it’s not easy. You might be interested in a few thoughts I put together about it here: http://www.mattcollins.net/2010/12/getting-to-critical-mass-how-to-start-a-marketplace-business


Web Design London · May 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Very useful list. I didn’t know much of them. Thank you.


Michelle · March 8, 2016 at 11:10 am

Hi Matt,

A really useful list, I know it’s an older post but a couple of the links are now broken (Toastmasters for example)

I’d like to add a guide we recently produced to the mix if that is ok? It covers the steps a startup should look at when launching, research, company structure, legal and financial advice: https://www.wrighthassall.co.uk/knowledge/legal-guides/2016/02/22/go-guide-starting-business/

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