Go London. Go Shoreditch!

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Working in Shoreditch and talking to start ups and tech start ups on a daily basis, it’s no surprise to me that the area is doing well and innovation and talent are growing fast. Even so it is really good to see it is acknowledged by those outside the area.

The area around Old Street roundabout has been known as silicon roundabout or Tech City for a while now, but the articles published have been mixed, as recently as March this year the Guardian published articles: ‘why we left silicon roundabout’ and ‘slow death of silicon roundabout’ which spoke as though the hay days had already been and gone for the area.

3 months later – I have spotted an article in the Evening Standard, with Joshi Herrmann looking at the recruitment opportunities in the city and tech city (which are geographically neighbours, it is a 5 minute walk from Shoreditch high street station to Liverpool street station). There were 2 articles on CNBC ‘Watch out Silicon Valley – is london closing in?’ which looks at the employment figures showing London’s tech scene is growing faster than California’s and ‘How long until Europe builds a google?’ In the latter Katrina Bishop asks why nothing significant has come out of Europe yet, like it’s expected, which is great news, it means countries outside the UK – like the U.S are expecting something big, it means they now see us as contenders on the world stage, as competition! Even Accountancy age published an article about Tech and creative industries being key to Londons growth – with a shout out for shoreditch and Old street.

Of course there are still issues for us to deal with: The cost of living is horrible, rent is high, obtaining finance is still very difficult for high risk start ups. Talent develops as fast as the technology so it’s an ongoing race to find the best people and at the right price and immigration has become a hot topic, which could put off much needed tech talent, much of which is not UK born.

However, the creative and tech scene is growing faster than expected, the government have focused on these areas and tried to offer tax breaks and incentives to assist in raising finance. Yes, rent is getting higher, but its the city of London, it’s not going to be cheap! Anyway, the amount of flexible office space, virtual office options, shared working areas and so on means there are a lot of options for a new business wanting to have a presence in the area. The networking is amazing if you want to take part, there is a meet up event and drink about for almost any kind of grouping you might want. It’s not just Tech companies but Creatives in general that populate the streets so there is a vibe to the area that is not present elsewhere. The world is right to expect something big to come from here.

Whilst I am rattling on about the growth of Techies and Creatives – The first ever London technology week has just finished and in general I think it was a success. Not perfect, granted, but a good start and something to look forward to in coming years. If you missed it, Techcity news have conveniently provided a nice summary of the main events, the good and the not so good points.

Maybe the next article I read will be about the ‘big one’ !!!!

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