East London Tech City

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East London Tech City (also known as Tech City or Silicon Roundabout) is a technology cluster located in Central and East London.[1][2][3] It broadly occupies the part of London's East End between Old Street (the boundary of Central and East London) and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford,[1] with its locus in the Shoreditch area. It is the third-largest technology startup cluster in the world after San Francisco and New York City.[4]

Development of the cluster has been encouraged by both local and national government, with the goal of creating a cluster comparable to Silicon Valley in the United States.[1][5] Cisco, Facebook, Google, Intel and McKinsey & Company are among the companies that have invested in the area.[6] City University London, London Metropolitan University, Imperial College London, Loughborough University and University College London are academic partners in projects based in the cluster.[4][7]

Name[edit]

Old Street Roundabout

The term Silicon Roundabout refers to the high number of web businesses located near the Old Street Roundabout (on the boundary of Central and East London), and as a reference to Silicon Valley in California.[8][9][10] The terms East London Tech City, Tech City and Silicon Roundabout can be used interchangeably.

History[edit]

Amongst the first technology companies located in the area were Dopplr, Last.fm, Consolidated Independent, Tinker.it, TweetDeck, Berg, Trampoline Systems, AMEE, Skimbit (now Skimlinks), Fotango, weartical.com, Rummble, Songkick, Squiz, Techlightenment, Poke London, Kizoom, BrightLemon, Redmonk, MOO, Believe.in, LShift, Livemusic and WAYN.

In 2008, there were around 15 media and high-tech companies in close proximity of the Silicon Roundabout, which forms the heart of Tech City. Plans to help accelerate the growth of the cluster were announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech given in east London on 4 November 2010.[6] A year later, Cameron announced that he was appointing entrepreneur Eric van der Kleij to lead the initiative.[11] In 2010 there were 85 startup companies in the area.[12] By 2011, approximately 200 firms were occupying the area, signifying a rapid increase in interest.[13] Wired magazine updated this figure in 2012 and suggested some 5,000 tech companies were located in the wider area centred on the Old Street roundabout.[14] Wired maintains a topic on the area.[15]

On 28 September 2011 it was announced that Google had acquired a seven-storey building near Old Street roundabout. Google said that the building, in Bonhill Street, would host "a range of activities, such as speaker series, hackathons, training workshops and product demonstrations" in addition to providing workspace for new companies.[16] The building, known as Google Campus, opened in March 2012.

In 2013 the Nominet Trust selected "5 startups making positive social change" which are based in the cluster: Streetbank, Give What You’re Good At, Videre Est Credere, Buddy App and PaveGen.[17]

Participants[edit]

Technology companies[edit]

Notable technology companies active in the cluster include:

Educational institutions[edit]

Educational institutions active in the cluster include:

Financial and professional services providers[edit]

Financial and professional services providers active in the cluster include:

  • Barclays - has agreed to create a new facility to provide specialist banking services to technology companies based in the area[4]
  • KPMG - opened a dedicated office in January 2013 providing accounting and tax advice to early stage technology companies[24]
  • McKinsey & Company - has agreed to provide advice on the creation of the hub and help to new companies starting out in the area[4]
  • Silicon Valley Bank - has agreed to establish a UK-based bank to provide financing for technology and life science companies based in the area[4]
  • Capco - relocated their UK headquarters to Great Eastern Street in 2014 (along with BOLD ROCKET), and is currently providing office space for small FinTech startups[4]
  • Taylor Wessing - opened the cluster's first dedicated law firm office in October 2011[25]

Community organisations[edit]

A number of not-for-profit organisations have created a sense of community in the area including Independent Shoreditch,[26] a business alliance, and Digital Shoreditch, which organises monthly meet-ups plus an annual festival of the same name, as well as for-profit organisations like Silicon Roundabout,[27] which is a conduit for office space in the area.

Public sector organisations[edit]

Public sector organisations active in the cluster include:

Responses[edit]

The rapid growth of the cluster has met with some criticism. Think tank 'Centre for London' said the development had little focus and could be counter-productive. The think tank also raised concerns over a skills shortage, connectivity, lack of mentoring and rising costs.[30] Tech City has been called a "marketing gimmick" on the wrong side of London (away from Heathrow Airport) which is still over 30% more expensive than any city outside of London.[31] James Dyson criticised the government for spending money on the scheme to attract international companies who drive up rents instead of helping start-up and hardware companies who argues have greater potential than software and internet companies.[32]

Transport[edit]

Tech City (at it locas) is well served by a number of London Buses as well as London Underground, Northern line (Bank branch) and National Rail, Thameslink services at Old Street and London Overground, East London line services at Shoreditch High Street.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Cameron reveals Silicon Valley vision for east London". BBC News. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "UK's Cameron To Reveal Plans For Tech City In East London". The Wall Street Journal. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2010. [dead link]
  3. ^ Grice, Andrew (4 November 2010). "Silicon Valley – but in the East End, promises PM". London: The Independent. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Silicon Roundabout is alive and well=Tech City News". Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "First came the artists, then came the hackers: The strange history of London’s own Silicon Valley". Tech Republic. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "PM announces East London ‘tech city’". Number 10. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Mapping the Digital Economy: Tech City and the University". Cities Institute, London Metropolitan Business School. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Bradshaw, Tim (July 29, 2008). "silicon-roundabout-is-this-the-heart-of-the-uks-new-dotcom-boom". Financial Times blog. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  9. ^ "Silicon Roundabout". The Economist. November 27, 2010. pp. 63–64. 
  10. ^ Prigg, Mark (July 30, 2008). "Roundabout is London's Answer to Silicon Valley". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  11. ^ Clark, Nick (8 September 2011). "Eric van der Kleij: No 10 guru set to super charge UK's Tech City". The Independent (London). Retrieved 18 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "London's Silicon Roundabout". Wired Magazine. 29 January 2010. 
  13. ^ http://news.searchofficespace.com/sos-news/tech-city-london%E2%80%99s-silicon-valley.html
  14. ^ http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-02/06/silicon-roundabout
  15. ^ here
  16. ^ "Google Boosts London's Silicon Roundabout \date=28 September 2011". BBC News. 
  17. ^ Tech City News, "London's Top Tech for Social Good," August 13th 2013.
  18. ^ http://www.techcityuk.com/#!/home
  19. ^ Garside, Juliette (10 August 2012). "Amazon moves engineering hub to east London". The Guardian. 
  20. ^ Aurora Fashions
  21. ^ EE Mobile Network
  22. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/16/kweekweek/
  23. ^ http://cdni.wired.co.uk/static/20100129-Old-Street-Map.jpg
  24. ^ "KPMG sets up Tech City garrison". Accountancy Age. 7 December 2012. 
  25. ^ "Tech City gets law firm boost". City AM. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  26. ^ Independent Shoreditch
  27. ^ Silicon Roundabout
  28. ^ "Tech City UK: The Digital Capital of Europe". UK Trade & Investment. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  29. ^ McGregor, Jay (13 March 2013). "Tech City startups voice criticisms over Technology Strategy Board". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 6 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Government's Tech City start-up strategy criticised". BBC News. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  31. ^ "Manchester is magnet for tech pioneers". The FT. 10 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  32. ^ "James Dyson criticises government focus on software and Tech City". pcadvisor.co.uk. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′33″N 0°05′15″W / 51.5257°N 0.0875°W / 51.5257; -0.0875