People’s Champion Finalist: Opendesk

Providing design furniture for the workspaces of some of the world’s most iconic brands, will Opendesk win you over?

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Start-up name: Opendesk
Founders: Tim Carrigan, Nick Ierodiaconou, Joni Steiner, Ian Bennink and James Arthur
Started in: 2013
Based in: London
Business description: Online furniture design platform


Shortlisted category:

Export Business of the Year

The Opendesk story:

Opendesk is trying to do to IKEA what Airbnb has done to traditional hotel chains – a mission which seems well within reach. 

Launched in August 2013 by a team of tech and design entrepreneurs, Opendesk offers design furniture that can be made locally anywhere in the world. Currently specialising in workspace furniture, the platform enables users to simply download the digital design file of the “open furniture” they want and then connects them with a local “maker” who manufactures and constructs the product.

Having built up a global network of over 1,000 designers and makers, and amassed over 30,000 downloads to date, the business’ innovative approach to on-demand furniture design is steadily taking off.

Big name brands such as Google, Greenpeace, John Lewis, Nike, and even Buckingham Palace have bought into Opendesk’s vision of “open making” and the public have been just as supportive with a successful crowdfunding round in July of last year. 

Backed by Innovate UK and Telefonica’s Wayra accelerator, the online platform is on target to hit £1.3m revenue for year-end 2015 and is determined to bring about “the third industrial revolution” – furniture designed everywhere, made here.

Why Opendesk made our 60:

Opendesk’s innovative concept has already been utilised by a host of iconic brands and it puts community at its core; helping designers and manufacturers around the world by providing an open distribution channel. Opendesk wants to be the factory of the future, a goal we can certainly buy into.

Where to find out more about Opendesk:


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