Tech City celebrates first birthday

Prime Minister David Cameron has helped Tech City celebrate its first birthday by unveiling an interactive map of the east London technology hub.

Tech City was officially launched a year ago when Cameron highlighted 200 technology companies based in the Old Street area of London, which was known as Silicon Roundabout. Now he claims there are 600 companies based there.

The Tech City initiative aims to expand the hub up to the Olympic Park in Stratford and provide start-ups with support and guidance.

"One year ago we made a major commitment to helping the tech cluster in East London grow," Cameron said. "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."

Schemes introduced to help nurture the companies based there include an Entrepreneurs Visa and tax breaks for start-up businesses. Cameron also suggested the government was looking at new ways to protect Intellectual Property.

The interactive map, which you can access here, lists the companies based in the area. However, as Duedil Blog points out many of the 600-odd firms are not technology start-ups, with businesses ranging from PR firms, solicitors and lawyers to consulting firms.

"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," Cameron added.

"It’s also a demonstration of how small, innovative businesses can collaborate with leading corporations. It’s fitting that the Tech City Map is 100% home-grown in East London with its creators Trampoline and Playgen both based in Shoreditch.

"Trampoline systems are part of a fusion of culture and technology through the Tech City Map and the physical working space The Trampery," said Trampoline Systems CEO Charles Armstrong.

"We are part of a re-established Old Street which has all the bars, the clubs, the galleries, the parties, all the cultural phenomenon – which is now juxtaposing against a thriving tech sector with Tech City. The combination of ‘Tech’ and ‘Culture’ is eclectic, and so very British. This is where Britain gains its point of difference from the world’s fixation with Silicon Valley. We inject culture into what has up until now been a sterile stripped-down vanilla tech sector," Armstrong added.

The initiative recently set up a mentorship programme to improve relations between start-ups and industry veterans.

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