Tech giants Google joined the Chelsea Foundation’s Edge of the Box club on Tuesday to support start-up businesses by bringing its Google Digital Garage training and a group of Google mentors to the event.

The Edge of the Box Club was launched in 2015 and since then an impressive 4,000 start-up businesses have come through the programme prior to the first Club of the year this week.The Club is unique to Chelsea Football Club and helps people in the local and wider community start and build their own business, with 49 per cent of start-ups beginning to trade having completed the Chelsea Foundation incubator.Tuesday’s event was the first to include Google mentors delivering some one-to-one coaching as well as the Google Digital Garage training session. Google Digital Garage is a series of online and in person training where anyone can come and learn free digital skills including topics on essential business skills for start-ups.Among those in attendance from the Google Digital Garage was Ashton John, who delivered a talk entitled ‘Social Media Strategy’. John said: ‘Edge of the Box is wicked! I love coming here and delivered a social media talk to help businesses improve digitally.‘It’s for anyone who is struggling digitally, to market or promote themselves or just understand the digital landscape so it was great to help with that.‘There is a skills gap out there and we want to make sure everyone is accessing digital technology in order to leverage their business and reach their potential. An event like this is great for networking, for learning and people who come here are making great progress and we need more events like this to support them.’

The collaboration between the Chelsea Foundation and Google Digital Garage has and will continue to benefit start-ups in different areas of starting a business, including digital marketing and social media strategies with businesses also having access to online support from Google Digital Garage.Since launching the Google Digital Garage in 2015, more than 500,000 people have benefitted from Google’s free face-to-face training on digital know-how across 400 locations in the UK.Chelsea Foundation employability and enterprise manager Carl Southwell said: ‘This is the first Edge of the Box Club of 2020 and the first part of the partnership with Google and the Google Digital Garage and they will be supporting six events over the next year. We’ve got 19 Googlers and a Google zone with lots of areas of Google represented for the start-ups to talk with.‘The brand association with Chelsea is very powerful but adding Google to the mix is incredible. Google have a great online platform for people to improve their digital skills and Edge of the Box is about supporting them on the ground so this is a win-win.‘There has been a massive turn out with 200 or so people here and lots of people testing their new products. There is a real buzz and it really feels like the home of start-ups in London.’The next Edge of the Box Club will take place on 9 March. To book your place on a session, please email [email protected]