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London takes the lead in the European tech race

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London Technology Week, which is set to run from 15-21 June, will see numerous visitors across the globe take part in more than 200 events. With brands such as Goldman Sachs, Funding Circle and Blippar on display, the UK hopes to showcase the city’s role as the fastest-growing digital hub of Europe. 

According to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, this is no longer speculation. Johnson, who has invested some £1.5m into computing in schools through his London Schools Excellence Fund, will be taking part in a coding class with school pupils from Regent High School at the Camden City Learning Centre to kick-start the event. At the same time, research from London & Partners, his promotional company, found that London’s digital technology sector is growing faster than both the London and wider UK economy and will continue to do so for the next decade.

Johnson said: “With our unrivalled mix of investors, talent and creativity it is hardly surprising that tech businesses and entrepreneurs are clamouring to be part of the incredible London tech story. This sector has flourished beyond recognition in the last five years, creating thousands of jobs and outpacing the rest of the economy. London Technology Week is rightly a celebration of that success.”

Increase in investment in London also positions the city as an attractive place to build billion dollar technology companies. Figures from GP Bullhound show that in the last year eight companies worth more than $1bn have been created in the UK – seven of those are in London.

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According to Manish Madhvani, co-founder and managing partner of GP Bullhound, London is producing the vast majority of Britain’s billion dollar tech companies. He also added that growth has been accelerating because the UK created an environment capable of sustaining high levels of investment across a range of tech sectors.

Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners, suggested that over the last decade more international tech investment projects have come to London than Paris, Dublin, Madrid, Amsterdam and Munich combined. The reason was explained by EY chief economist Mark Gregory, who said: “In the eyes of international investors, London is a truly world-class magnet for technology investment. Fostering innovation and the capital’s growing reputation for R&D investment appears to reflect the electrifying impact of the fast-growing tech sector. There is now a growing belief that next global tech giant will come from London.”

These statistics and claims were echoed in the latest EY research, which showed that more than 1,000 international tech investment projects had been located in London between 2005–2014 – the next most attractive city was Paris  at 381.

Furthermore, the figures produced by Oxford Economics claimed that the number of companies in London’s digital technology sector has grown by 46 per cent since the launch of the Tech City programme, with Wayra highlighting that London’s tech sector is one of the world’s most diverse. It showed that in London women are three times more likely to be working in the startup community than in Silicon Valley.


Image: Shutterstock

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