Those who have heard of Silicon Roundabout, which is also known as Tech City, will no doubt have noticed the parallels between this digital business area in London and Silicon Valley in San Francisco.
Both areas are well known for their tech startups and well established businesses, particularly as the likes of Google and Facebook have opened offices in London’s Tech City.
However, is it still the case that this part of east London is stuck in the shadow of Silicon Valley?
It’s an interesting question to ask, as CODE_n has stated that many venture capital firms are still keen to look and spend their money in this part of California. Angel investors are littering the Bay Area and are more commonly found there than anywhere else in the world but this doesn’t mean that Tech City is a lesser version of Silicon Valley.
This is largely because Tech City is establishing itself as Europe’s hub for tech startups and as a result finance is pouring into the area. It isn’t just outside investors that are supporting Silicon Roundabout though, as the British government is responsible for a lot of the area’s success.
Due to this help from home government, US tech companies have been able to set up incubators, which have offered cheap accommodation for startups who look to establish their business in Tech City.
Not only this, but the proximity of London to the rest of Europe, makes it an attractive option for investment and for companies to open offices in the Big Smoke.
Due in part to these reasons, London’s Tech City is growing at a much faster rate than Silicon Valley, as during 2012 and 2015 the former tripled in size, while the latter only doubled.
It’s argued that Silicon Valley is an area suffering from an elitist culture, according to The Economist, which is isolating it from international markets. In contrast, London isn’t suffering from this bubble effect, which again makes it an attractive option for tech companies.
Things may shift slightly, depending on the effects of Brexit, but for now, it seems safe to say that Tech City is certainly a competitor to Silicon Valley in the digital startup market.
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