The Development of East London Tech City


When businesses are in their infancy they look to California’s Silicon Valley as an inspiration.

This is where start-ups thrive and has given birth to some of the biggest names in corporate world. The likes of Facebook, Google and eBay have all been able to create and develop their business in this environment. Silicon Valley’s success has inspired other cities across the globe to build their own hub for growing companies.

Both New York and London have been investing in their very own Silicon Valley and England’s is situated in Shoreditch. Named East London Tech City, the technology cluster has been operational since 2008 and has attracted organisations such as Google, Intel, McKinsey & Company and Cisco.

When first put forward, there was some concern as to whether this tech site would be able to generate the same benefits that have been afforded in San Francisco. Numerous articles have been written about the fortunes of East London Tech City and many questions were raised when it was first getting off the ground.

A pertinent text of the time was Max Nathan’s 2011 article, ‘East London Tech City: Ideas Without A Strategy?’. The senior research fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research looked at what the government had planned for the UK’s very own Silicon Valley.

Dr Nathan explains that following the success of the 2012 Olympic Games, the government was keen to concentrate of inward investment. This included developing the former Olympic Park into a hub for some of the biggest and brightest companies operating around the globe. It aimed to put London on the map as technological powerhouse.

The article initially deals with the concept of the tech hub before going on to discuss whether or not the government has the right policy in place to support this growing site. As high-tech industries look at East London as a potential base for their operations, Dr Nathan stresses the importance of having legislation in place to support these companies.

In his article he looks at the location and cluster theory and whether there is good level of experience when it comes to initiative which support the high-tech clusters. He also examines the existing strengths of London which help to make a tech hub of this ilk a realistic goal and if it can attract the right clients.

It provides a fascinating insight into how the East London Tech City was able to get off the ground in the first place.