East London Tech City Area

East London Tech City is a cluster of high-tech companies in East London, England. It is also referred to as Silicon Roundabout and also has a similar name. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has accelerator space specifically dedicated to spinout companies and is located near St. Luke’s.

The Old Street Roundabout was the focus of a group of web businesses formed in 2008. Historically, the area of the City of London known as “City Fringe” had been left fairly run down compared to the rest of London. During the 2008–09 recession, many firms closed, lowering rents, facilitating start-ups. The mass of fresh talent interested in entrepreneurship was also the result of layoffs from financial institutions, like investment banks.

History

The prime minister announced plans to accelerate cluster growth in a speech in east London on November 4, 2010. After a year, Cameron announced that he had created the Silicon Valley Foundation to oversee the venture. More than 85 startups were established in the local area in 2010.

The Google Old Street roundabout was announced to be Google’s new home on 28 September 2011. The Google building in Bonhill Street will serve as office space and host a variety of activities. Examples of such activities include speaker series, hackathons, and training workshops. Campus London was the name of the building which opened in March 2012.

Nominet Trust selected some startups to become market leaders by making positive social change in 2013.

Investment

In 2015, the technology sector attracted $2.28 billion in investments, up from $1.3 billion in 2014, which represented 69% more investment. A total of $5.2 billion in venture capital funding has been raised in London by technology companies since 2010.

Responses There have been some critics of the rapid growth of this cluster of cells. In 2012, the British think tank Centre for London stated that it felt the development was unfocused and could potentially be counter-productive. The report also raises concerns regarding the shortage of skills, access to information, lack of mentoring and rising cost of education. Similarly, Tech City was referred to by some as a marketing gimmick located away from Heathrow Airport in the wrong part of London, where prices are still 30% higher than in any city outside London.

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