Mobile giant will open hub to search for start-up talent
Vodafone has become that latest big name company to give its seal of approval to East London’s tech scene, opening up a tech hub in Tech City.
The mobile giant’s initiative is similar to the Wayra project recently introduced to London by rival O2. Vodafone’s version, called Vodafone xone, will aim to identify the hottest start-ups in the mobile internet space, and provide them with logistical support such as office space and mentorship.
The most promising of the start-ups could also receive a financial investment in return for a stake in the company.
The first Vodafone xone was opened in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley a year ago and Vodafone said it is keen to replicate that success here in the UK.
"Vodafone is delighted to confirm its intention to set up a new R&D and incubation centre in Tech City," said Siavash Alamouti, Vodafone Group research and development director. "This exciting new centre will build on our existing Vodafone xone facility in Silicon Valley, giving cutting-edge British high tech start-ups access to the expertise and global reach of Britain’s largest ICT company."
The company wants to have the new innovation hub up and running by the end of the year.
Barclays Bank has also announced an investment in the Tech City, the government-backed imitative to nurture the fast-growing hub of tech start-ups found in London’s Shoreditch, to the east of the city.
Barclays has given its backing to an initiative called the Central Working Club, which provides office space to start-ups, similar to TechHub.
More details on these deals will be revealed by chancellor George Osborne, who will be talking at a conference today (Friday 3rd). According to the BBC, he will say, "The government is determined to make Britain the technology centre of Europe, with London’s Tech City at its heart."
It was recently revealed that Amazon will also be opening an East London hub, which will house software developers who will focus on creating interactive digital services for TVs, game consoles, smartphones and PCs.
Earlier this year Google announced a multi-million pound investment in the area as part of its Campus building, which like TechHub and Central Working Club, will offer inexpensive office space to start-ups.