A digital hub with resources, education, access to technology, free cloud credits, mentoring, jobs and more
London’s digital tech sector is expected to create an additional £12 billion of economic activity over the next decade. It’s also expected to create 46,000 new jobs in the capital over the next decade.
Tech.London launched on June 15 2015 to support this growth. It’s a portal which brings together London’s digital economy in one place to keep the community tapped into the very latest information and insights.
The site, developed by Gust.com, runs on IBM’s cloud platform Bluemix, and integrates data and applications from dozens of leading high-tech firms including Level39, Ogilvy, Meetup.com, Eventbrite.
In London creative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit are in abundance, however to launch a successful business you need funding, the best talent and digital knowledge. From advertising to finance, technological innovation intersects with every industry in London, and a centralised platform to locate local resources for the community is so vital.
That is why Tech.London, a new comprehensive online community and platform, is launching to connect, support, and grow London’s expanding technology sector and early-stage ecosystem.
Tech.London is collaboration between Mayor of London Boris Johnson, Gust, IBM, and a wide number of partners from London’s technology community and is testament to the city’s growing tech and digital industries. It is the embodiment of a shared desire and commitment to bring the community together, increase job opportunities, train the workforce of the future, support the growth of new businesses, and ultimately ensure London is at the centre of technology innovation.
Visitors to the site will have simultaneous access to a live database of London startups and early-stage investors, a constantly updated stream of career opportunities and educational courses, the universal calendar for London tech and startup community events, the complete guide to London’s co-working and incubator spaces, up-to-the-minute news about London’s tech and digital community, and much more.
London’s funding gap
Let’s look at the funding gap in London. Well-known tech goliaths may find it easier to raise new funding rounds and devote millions to M&A activities; however London still suffers from a visible early-stage funding gap.
To support these efforts the coalition introduced an eight per cent reduction in corporation tax; R&D tax credits and even more reduced tax for companies with patents. Such measures boosted our tech sector and gave the UK a record 581,173 business registrations in 2014.
This year’s election the major parties highlighted the importance of the digital economy to the UK’s future. The newly elected government has the opportunity to incorporate technology into its policy from an early stage and benefit from improved collaboration and efficiency.
But it’s still not enough. The new Government’s proposed Enterprise Bill aims to reduce red tape on business, create a Small Business Conciliation Service to handle business disputes and reform the appeal process for Business Rates which is promising.
Tech.London platform gives startups and entrepreneurs access to additional partner resources that can help their businesses develop and grow. For example, startups can take advantage of up to $120,000 USD in free credits for IBM’s cloud platform.
Getting the right talent
There are also vocalised fears from the business community around the inevitable in/out referendum on our membership of the EU by the end of 2017. We know that to stay competitive we must also ensure that it is still possible to bring highly skilled technology experts over to the UK. The current visa process is expensive and overly complex.
The employment shortage issue is one partly of myth, as the majority of Tech City businesses actually have a surplus of vacancies they can’t fill quick enough. The issue is actually around the skills needed in today’s environment. Top five skills most in demand are: coders & developers, marketing & PR, business development, web design and user experience specialists. This skills gap is being plugged by temporary resource, including freelancers and interns.
Members of the community are invited and encouraged to become a partner in Tech.London, by adding their startup, event, news, or content feed. A weekly newsletter is also available, giving subscribers a London digital ‘week-in-review’ and details of upcoming community highlights.
In the coming months, Tech.London will be optimised for mobile devices so that Londoners can access information and resources from anywhere, at anytime and with the aim to roll out nationwide in future.
For more information about Tech.London and how to get involved see here: http://www.tech.london/