In the loop: the new playful Lego professor and disrupting startups

This week we discuss Deliveroo’s expanding workforce and why startups don’t think corporates can disrupt

In the loop: the new playful Lego professor and disrupting startups

University of Cambridge advertises for Lego professorship

If you fancy yourself a fan of Danish toys then one of the top institutions for higher education in the world may have the perfect job for you. The University of Cambridge has put out a job listing for a Lego professor of play in education, development and learning.

The ideal candidate should have an “outstanding research record of international stature and the vision, leadership, experience and enthusiasm to act as director of the newly established Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning”. Both the centre and the position are funded by generous grants from the Lego Foundation and will examine the role play and playfulness in children’s development.

If you feel that you can’t Lego of this opportunity, you better get over your writer’s block and start working on your CV now, as applications close on January 20.

Deliveroo serves up 300 new jobs in London

From UberEats establishing a foothold on these shores to Just Eat consolidating its market share by buying’s UK operations in 2016, it certainly seems as if the food-delivery scene is booming. So you can’t fault Deliveroo, the food-delivery startup, for having an appetite for aggressive growth.

Not only did the company secure a £275m investment last year but it’s also set out plans to open a new international headquarters in London. And this week, Deliveroo announced that the new office will create an additional 300 tech jobs in the capital. “When so many of the success stories in the on-demand economy have been grown from America, I am particularly proud to be doing this here in Britain,” said Will Shu, founder and CEO of Deliveroo.

Since the launch in 2013, Deliveroo has expanded to 130 cities across 12 countries, the company proves yet again what Blighty’s startups can achieve.

Blockchain teams up with Imperial College London

Cryptocurrencies have been the talk of town since bitcoin first saw the light of day in 2009. And given how these digital currencies are transforming the finance sector, it’s no surprise that academics have taken a keen interest in them. We found out this week that Blockchain, the fintech startup dealing with digital assets, has partnered with Imperial College London for a new research project that will explore the subject.

As part pf a three-year partnership, they’ll launch the Digital Asset Research Lab: an international centre for research and application activity related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

Commenting on the move, Peter Smith, co-founder and CEO of Blockchain, said: “We’re excited to be at the leading edge of research to understand this technology’s impact on the broader world.”

It certainly seems as if bitcoin has moved on from the days when it was seen as little more than a currency for devoted Minecraft players.

Majority of startups don’t think corporates disrupt

Larger companies may have financial muscle and manpower but most entrepreneurs think they lack the flexibility to be innovative, according to new research from Startupbootcamp, the international group of accelerators.

Having surveyed 350 Startupbootcamp alumni, the organisation revealed that 53.1% don’t believe corporates can disrupt markets while 28.1% thought they could. And while being innovative is second nature to most entrepreneurs, startups often lack the money to realise their disruptive ambitions.

Unsurprisingly, big corporates and SMEs often join forces to get the best of both worlds. Of the people polled, 70% believed it wise for startups to team up with big businesses to be successful and 70.3% said they have enjoyed great partnerships with corporates.

Here’s hoping we see more successful partnerships formed between Britain’s Davids and Goliaths this year.

Eric Johansson
Eric Johansson

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