I’m going to write a lot about tech city on this blog. But before I do, I thought it might be helpful to talk a bit about what the movement is, and what I think it’s trying to achieve.
If you’re reading this you’ve probably come across “tech city” mentioned in the press. There’s been a big buzz about it for the last year or so. It’s been heralded as the next Silicon Valley by David Cameron and Vince Cable, who are both doing their bit to make it happen (in fact Vince Cable has been working on projects like this for years). Google have moved in, and there are now dozens of new startups and events happening in our area.
But there is still a lot of confusion about what tech city actually is. Some people seem to think it’s a place: Old Street roundabout, or Shoreditch more generally. Others think it’s an event: Silicon Drinkabout, or Hackney Wicked. Others think it’s a company: Seedcamp, or TechHub, or Last.fm (which was sold for $280m recently)..
The Tech City Movement is a movement of people who want to make a difference.
We believe that we can achieve this through technology, which is a force for good.
The tech industry is full of progressive thinkers who are creating new ways of working, living and connecting with each other.
As the world becomes more digital, we want to share knowledge and spread positive thinking about the impact technology can have on our lives.
This site is a place for developers, technologists and creative minds to share their knowledge and help the movement grow.
Join the Tech City Movement now.
“Tech City”, the name given a year ago to an area of East London roughly stretching from Old Street roundabout to the Olympic Park, is a strange, amorphous and multifaceted phenomenon. It is a policy initiative led by Prime Minister David Cameron; it is something very real in the form of hundreds more internet businesses and thousands more jobs in that part of London; and it is also a state of mind, a new way of thinking about the role technology can play in our lives.
I don’t think anyone really knows what Tech City is, but I think we all recognize it when we see it. Just as there was before it a Silicon Valley mindset and an Oxford/Cambridge/London mindset, so now there’s a Tech City mindset. And while it’s still early days, I think this movement has already made giant strides towards changing people’s attitudes to technology, media and business in the UK.
Tech City is not a building or even just an area of London: It’s an idea. It’s about changing attitudes to technology in government and business. And if that’s going on everywhere, then Tech City exists everywhere.”
tech city is a story about the growth of a tech cluster in London and the government’s role in supporting it.
The government has been clear that it supports the development of digital technology in London and elsewhere. We’ve seen over six years of initiatives aimed at boosting the potential of the sector, which has become increasingly important to the UK economy. However, this work has mostly been focused on the needs of early-stage businesses.
What’s different about tech city is that it has the potential to bring together all aspects of a thriving and sustainable cluster, from start-ups through to large scale research and development. This will enable us to do more than just support individual companies – we can nurture an entire ecosystem, from funding and research to business networks, infrastructure and culture.
This is an exciting opportunity for the area, but it also brings with it challenges. The reality is that we’re dealing with an ecosystem that is dynamic, fast moving, and difficult to predict – we don’t yet have all the answers on how we’re going to achieve our goals. We need your help to shape our plans so that we can build something that works for everyone involved in this growing sector.
Tech City is a cluster of technology companies in East London, centred around Old Street roundabout. It is also known as Silicon Roundabout or Silicon Alley.
The Tech City vision was first announced by David Cameron in 2010, and the movement has since received support from the UK government, with a number of initiatives to catalyse the growth of the area. These include tax breaks for entrepreneurs, visa reforms to make it easier for overseas talent to come to London, and a series of events and accelerators that have been running over the last few years.
Despite talk of fragmentation in London’s tech scene, what is certain is that there is a clear desire for the ecosystem to grow and thrive. It’s a well-known fact that young people like to hang out in coffee shops eating avocado on toast (
Welcome to Tech City. My name is Eric Van Der Kleij, and I set up Tech City because I believe London has the potential to become one of the world’s leading technology centres.
It’s an ambition that many thought was impossible. But today, it’s clear that this isn’t just a dream.
Through Tech City we are working with Government, universities and businesses – both large and small – to bring about the next generation of UK growth companies.
But I can’t do it alone – that’s why we’re here today in East London to hear from you about how Tech City can help your business reach its full potential.
During my time as head of the Technology Strategy Board, we invested millions of pounds into supporting start-ups through our Fast Forward programme – which offered mentoring, marketing advice, funding and support for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business.
At the same time, we also took steps to ensure that the UK is more open to overseas entrepreneurs looking to invest in our economy by introducing a new visa system for entrepreneurs.
We want UK companies to be able to grow and compete on a global scale and attract the best talent from around the world. That’s why we are working with Government and Mayor Boris Johnson on making London an even better
There are more tech startups in London than anywhere else in Europe. European investment into high-tech London companies has more than doubled since 2010, and last year hit a record £664 million.
If you look around London, you’ll see the evidence of this success everywhere. The tech community is growing at a record pace, with new startups being founded all the time. More and more people are choosing to work and live in London, and there’s a real buzz in the air as we watch our city transform into one of the world’s leading centres for technology and innovation.
The tech industry is one of the few sectors that continues to grow throughout the recession—and it’s clear that we’re on the verge of something big here in London. With your help, I want to make sure that we seize this opportunity to build something amazing—to create jobs, attract new businesses and entrepreneurs, and ensure that London remains at the forefront of cutting-edge technology for years to come.