White Bear Yard is a great little entrepreneurial home in North London, just off Clerkenwell Road in Camden. (It’s close to Farringdon and Chancery Lane Tube stations.) There are about 10 startups who have a home there, and they even have a Twitter account: @whitebearyard.
I’m lucky enough to have friends in two of those startups: Timetric and Smarkets. I got to know the Timetric guys back in early 2009 when Andrew, Dan and Toby had just started getting some really great press about their company. The three founders are all PhD’s, so not only are they wicked smart but they’re also really great people. I got to know Jason Trost of Smarkets back when he and his friend Hunter were just setting up the company and getting their gaming license approved. Again, another great guy (and great company.)
Timetric is a data treasure trove and analysis platform. They have over 1 million data series; everything from consumer price indices to FX rates to sports records that you can combine with your own data to mix and mash up.
Smarkets is an online betting platform, going up against Betfair. While they’re not as big as Betfair, they’re much more social. You can communicate directly with other people on the site, and you won’t get overrun with the other games Betfair tries to push on you (poker, etc.) Smarkets is WAY better than going to a bookie, because you’ll nearly always get better odds.
It was invigorating for me to hang out with them at the end of a long week. Both Timetric and Smarkets are at that really interesting stage of a company where they’ve clearly built a great product, they’ve gotten some good early traction, and they’re working hard on ramping up. Timetric is more of a B2B company, so is really matching their product to the needs of their existing/potential customers. Smarkets is a B2C company, so is very hard at work at customer acquisition. Speaking of which…
Give Smarkets a try!
If you click here and make your first deposit you’ll get a £5 bonus! (I get a £5 bonus, too, which is nice.)
It’s great to see a real ecosystem developing there, and it’s a fantastic space with a ton of smart people all on just a couple of floors. Where I failed is not visiting earlier; the building has a fantastic roof garden that you can see in this article. I think there’s some great success yet to come from these guys.