It isn’t just the know-how that is making London’s tech hub a global phenomenon, it’s everything around it from lifestyle to accommodation. Why is Silicon Roundabout doing so well?
What creates a hub? If the focus is technology then one would probably assume it was a good idea along with coding knowhow. That’s how to power a tech start-up and become the next Facebook, right? If London’s Silicon Roundabout is anything to go by, however, the ingredients of a tech hub are more nuanced than just a few likeminded, technology focused individuals.
Every year, Wired magazine – the bible for technologists the world over – publishes its list of the most promising businesses in the world. The focus is innovation, it’s important for investors and those within the tech industry. This year, the magazine has pinpointed London as one of Europe’s most important tech hubs. They predict it will rival Silicon Valley.
The impact of this is enormous. A huge amount of private and public sector investment has been earmarked to support a technology led regeneration of Old Street. Tech City UK might have had its detractors but for government and for entrepreneurs the goal of creating a rival to the US’ Silicon Valley has been realised. It has involved attracting the best talent, an entrepreneurial mind-set and emphasising the importance for investors to get involved at the ground floor. Likeminded businesses tend to attract and generate a buzz and enthusiasm. As Steve Jobs said you can’t come up with innovation over email, it needs face to face meetings and brainstormings for an idea to pop up out of nowhere. It is like preparing the earth ahead of seeding. There’s an element of luck but a good gardener knows the importance of making sure the ground is just right.
The US is so worried about the strength of London’s Tech City that they are heading over to see it for themselves. New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg is building a European HQ close to tech city once his tenure ends next year. He had harboured ambitions for New York to wrangle the mantle from Silicon Valley but concedes London is likely to get their first. If you can’t beat them, join them.
It isn’t simply the start-ups that make London so attractive, says Bloomberg. Instead it is immigration, a family friendly atmosphere and places for people to stay. The very culture of the capital is built towards encouraging people to do business.
This is an element Clarendon serviced apartments has been passionate about. When business travellers are looking for short term accommodation close to Tech City, flexible arrangements and places to stay near Barbican and Spitalfields with studios, one bed and two bed apartments make it easy for people to bring their families with them and create a home from home. As demand has grown in the postcode, Clarendon has prepared for the trend and provides a range of accommodation to suit needs. Staying in a hotel while on a business trip, setting up a new firm in a capital or just learning from an established business in the area isn’t practical. A serviced apartment, as well as being cheaper, offers a more comfortable and relaxed place to live while in the capital ensuring the traveller is relaxed and ready for work.