Companies flock to Tech City

Tech City

The number of companies operating in London's Tech City has tripled in just a year, with 600 businesses now operating in the area.

Prime Minister David Cameron paid a visit to the East End site yesterday, a year after it was officially inaugurated when 200 firms populated the "tech cluster."

"The successful growth we see today is thanks to the talented, creative entrepreneurs who have decided to set up there. As a Government, we are determined to continue doing everything we can to help support and accelerate this growth," Cameron said.

"We have already taken action such as introducing the Entrepreneurs Visa and tax breaks like the Enterprise Investment Scheme. We are also looking at new ways we can protect Intellectual Property. But we are not done yet we're looking forward to continuing our work with the community in Tech City to further support them to grow."

What we think...

The progress of Tech City is commendable, but a few things need to happen for it to be a real success.

Firstly, the Government has to continue altering regulation to attract companies. Revisiting capital-gains tax would be a nice start, ensuring those that make risks and win get to keep much of the money they make along the way.

If we can inspire British tech businessmen and women to think big, they might not sell up like Autonomy did recently. Then we might have the next Mark Zuckerburg on our hands.

Tom Brewster, Senior Staff Writer

In celebration of the progress made to date, a map has been created by one of Tech City's businesses - Trampoline Systems, with design work done by Playgen.

The interactive map shows the spread of companies across the area, with the ability to click through and learn more about each business.

"The Tech City Map, which underlines the fantastic level of creativity and innovation that is taking place in the area, is a great showcase for East London's start-up community. It's also a demonstration of how small, innovative businesses can collaborate with leading corporations," Cameron added.

"It's fitting that the Tech City Map is 100 per cent home-grown in East London with its creators Trampoline and Playgen both based in Shoreditch."

An app has also been made available by the Government, outlining what's going on at the cluster. It talks users through policy changes the Government has made to support tech companies in the UK and brings the latest news from the businesses in the area.

Big tech support

Whilst the focus has been on growing small companies in Tech City, the giants of the industry have flocked to the region to offer their support.

Yesterday saw Cisco announce a Future Cities Centre in Shoreditch, in partnership with University College London and Imperial College London. The facility will look at ways to monetise research into smart grids.

The networking giant also announced a National Virtual Incubator to help businesses grow. That forms part of its British Innovation Gateway project, which amounts to five years worth of investment in start-up development.

Intel, meanwhile, is to create a High Performance Computing cluster, open to companies based in Tech City. Access to the HPC systems offers firms the chance to access supercomputing capabilities they previously would not have enjoyed.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.