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December 6, 2012

Government Tech City investment: expert reaction

CBR rounds up the response to the government's new investment initiative in East London's tech start-up scene

By Cbr Rolling Blog

Silicon Roundabout
The new Old Street roundabout? Credit: BBC

Prime minister David Cameron has unveiled another round of initiatives to boost east London’s technology start-up scene. Top of the list is a £50m regeneration project at the Old Street Roundabout, turning it into a huge space for young companies and entrepreneurs to work and network.

A number of established technology companies have also announced more involvement in the area.

Here is what some of the people involved in today’s announcement have said.

Prime minister David Cameron
Two years ago I set out my commitment to help Tech City become one of the world’s great technology centres.

Today we are seeing it continue to grow and go from strength to strength – and that is down to the talented, creative entrepreneurs who have set up there. The UK is in a global race and I am determined that we as a Government continue doing everything we can to equip the UK to compete and thrive in that race.

As well as backing the businesses of today, we are creating an aspiration nation and also backing the innovative, high-growth businesses of the future. That’s why we’re investing in creating the largest civic space in Europe – a place for start-up companies and the local community to come together and become the next generation of entrepreneurs.

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson
The 2012 Games were a catalyst for enormous change in East London, with a new quarter of the capital now primed to become the world’s most thriving centre for technology and innovation.

The time is right to lay solid foundations in Tech City for London’s digital revolution, and this list of major new firms committing to the area is a testament to the confidence leading tech entrepreneurs have in the capital.

Our new centre will provide not only a vital resource to nurture upcoming technology and creative superstars from around the world, it will drive huge investment into the capital and help create thousands of jobs.

Joanna Shields, incoming CEO of Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO)
Tech City has become a thriving hub of tech-based enterprise and creativity. We have a vibrant community here full of exciting emerging businesses that are growing alongside some of the world’s most respected tech companies. We have the opportunity to take this momentum and make Tech City the global leader in tech innovation and the location of choice for start-ups and growth businesses.

Steve Garnett, salesforce.com EMEA Chairman
Today’s announcement from the Government emphasises the UK’s huge potential to work its way out of austerity by building fresh, innovative and creative businesses.

As an entrepreneurial company at its heart, at salesforce.com we believe it’s vitally important that technology SMEs are supported and nurtured. The Tech City Investment Organisation is doing a fantastic job and we’re delighted to be able to offer our support to an events programme to showcase the innovation and dynamism of Tech City start-ups.

Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK and Ireland
We are delighted to be partnering with University College London and DC Thomson to open the new IDEALondon facility in Shoreditch.

With the area fast becoming a hub for talented digital, technology and media businesses, creating an innovation centre in Tech City is a key element of Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway programme. It is great to be providing the thriving community with a facility which brings together the strength and expertise from an alliance of renowned leaders in these industries.

Tudor Aw, KPMG’s European head of technology
We believe that a highly successful tech sector has the potential to create thousands of jobs and will help underpin the growth of other industries in Britain. Over the last two years, the UK Government has openly wooed tech investors, outlining Britain’s technology credentials. Although the UK is already doing a lot in terms of strong tax incentives, R&D tax credits and entrepreneur incentives, a lot remains to be done before the UK tech hubs will rival California’s Silicon Valley.

Our initiative aims to create another important layer in the UK’s developing start-up eco-system. In order to thrive, grow and eventually list in London, potential high-growth companies need to be nurtured and supported all the way and we want to play an important part in that process.

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