Published December 06, 2012
Two years since committing Government support to the growing tech cluster in East London, the Prime Minister today announced a major Government investment in Tech City.
The Government will put £50m towards a visionary project to regenerate the Old Street roundabout, which will see it transformed into Europe’s largest indoor civic space, dedicated to start-ups and entrepreneurs in East London. This new civic building will host classrooms, co-working spaces and workshops equipped with the latest 3D printing technology, for use by both the local start-ups and the wider community.
These announcements from the Government were accompanied by a host of major corporate commitments to Tech City, including Cavendish Corporate Finance LLP who has announced that they will be setting up a dedicated team of specialist tech advisers to provide advice on raising investment to Tech City companies, offering four seminars every year and one-to-one sessions.
Other corporate commitments include the following:
• Microsoft is establishing a Technology Development Centre in the heart of Tech City as part of their commitment to the cluster, and will support local technology development, work to inspire innovation and provide expertise and guidance to those with new and innovative ideas. They will create packages of support for Developer Apprentices and are working on a new Apprenticeship to support young people in and around Tech City
• Cisco, DC Thomson and UCL are opening IDEALondon, an innovation centre in Shoreditch to support the growth of digital and media companies, in a unique alliance between a world-leading research institution, a world-class information technology provider and an international media company. The facility will host up to 25 digital and media companies
• KPMG, the global professional services firm, announces the opening of an office in Shoreditch, with a dedicated team to support early stage technology companies. The team will provide advice for early stage tech companies looking to grow and flourish in the UK and beyond
• IBM will bring its entrepreneur programme to the innovative companies in Tech City. The IBM Global Entrepreneur programme provides access to technology, support and resources to help technology start-ups develop solutions for a smarter planet and grow their businesses
• Alert Me, one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies, is moving to Tech City. AlertMe develops technology that enables consumers to manage their home energy usage online or by smartphone, wherever they are. The move will establish in Tech City a centre of expertise on technologies promoting energy efficient consumption and the smart, connected home
• Barclays and Ravensbourne are announcing a new creative partnership, that will see Barclays working with - and offering placements to – Ravensbourne students to bring technology and design to bear on specific business challenges
• Skills Matter, who help a 35,000 strong developer community learn and share skills to write better software, is announcing an $5m investment by Beringea to provide even more opportunities for its community to collaborate with the world’s top technology experts
• Salesforce.com, the enterprise cloud computing company, is working with the Tech City Investment Organisation to support a programme of events that will showcase the innovation and dynamism of Tech City start-ups.
The success of Tech City was hailed by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said:
“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.”
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ”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), said:
“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.”
Further announcements today included:
• Brunswick is announcing a partnership with Central Working in Tech City to provide free communications advice to start-ups including monthly workshops
• Busuu, the world’s largest social network for language learning, is opening its new HQ in Tech City after closing a Series A investment round of €3.5 million from PROfounders Capital and private investors
• Career Builder, one of the most visited online jobs sites in the United Kingdom, has announced its continued investment in the UK online recruitment industry by relocating its UK offices to Tech City
• ECNlive is partnering with TCIO to connect Tech City companies with investors in the City of London. ECNlive’s digital network will carry live news and real time information from companies within Tech City to financial institutions, media groups and technology companies across the capital
• Lawbit, a new start-up based in Tech City, is launching its online legal service for SMEs, providing simple, affordable contracts and practical legal advice delivered virtually
• Research In Motion is announcing a partnership with Skills Matter, Europe’s largest provider of agile training and events. Launching with a BlackBerry 10 developer event in January, the partnership includes the establishment of a test and porting centre for developers, working with the start up community to demonstrate the use of mobile in building and growing businesses, as well as a range of events aimed at illustrating to the developer community the power and potential of the BlackBerry 10 platform
• The Trampery, Shoreditch’s first co-working space, is opening four new sites across Tech City with an extra 54,000 sqft. By the end of 2013, they’ll provide space for 600 fulltime members