Virtuous circle: Joanna Shields, chair of Tech City UK, on how her organisation is nurturing the cluster of high-tech firms around London's Old Street roundabout.

Position:INFORM
 
FREE EXCERPT

WHAT IS THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF TECH CITY UK?

The prime minister launched the initiative in November 2010 with the aim of moving the UK economy away from financial services and tapping the potential of the disruptive technology firms based near Old Street roundabout in London's East End. The idea was to build the UK into Europe's digital capital and make it a credible competitor to Silicon Valley. Three and a half years on, we are making great strides - only a few months ago Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, named London as the main rival to his city's digital growth. And, with initiatives such as Future Fifty - a scheme matching fast-growing firms with relevant incentives - we are not far away from a landmark moment.

WHAT SERVICES DO YOU OFFER FIRMS IN THE CLUSTER?

We help these businesses to grow by encouraging international investors and companies to the area. We offer incoming entrepreneurs advice on everything from locations to contacts. We support talent development by arranging community initiatives, apprenticeships and mentoring events. We help companies to make international connections, giving tailored guidance on exports and using the links we have with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), a government department that helps British firms operating in international markets and encourages foreign companies to do business with the UK. Our organisation also represents the views of the business and tech community to the government, helping to shape national policy in promoting enterprise. In order to do this, we canvass the opinions...

To continue reading

REQUEST YOUR TRIAL