Posts Tagged ‘London Advocates’

It’s a bold plan. If it works well, the people behind it may deserve a medal or something. The dream is nothing less than to help London compete with Silicon Valley. For start-ups, companies with bold ideas to expand, and indeed for investors, it’s exciting stuff. Can it work?

Tech London Advocates, founded by Russ Shaw, formerly Skype Vice President and Telefonica Global Innovation Director, was launched yesterday.

It says that it wants to: “Establish London as a world-class hub for digital and technology businesses.” So it is aiming pretty high then.

How can it achieve such lofty ambitions? Well, the big idea is to facilitate partnerships between start-ups and FTSE-250 businesses, major international companies and investors.

Tech London Advocates says: “The group will focus on providing the capital’s technology entrepreneurs with the business networks they need to take their companies into high growth. It will act as a cross-sector presence within London’s technology community, working with government organisations including Tech City Investment Organisation and UKTI, and addressing issues that affect London’s ability to support growing technology firms.”

Russ Shaw, founder and chairman of Tech London Advocates, comments: “The biggest problem start-ups face in London is getting to the right people that can deliver the necessary investment, talent, connections that lead to powerful partnerships, teams and ultimately growth. Tech London Advocates believe that this is a simple problem to solve. Using their relationships, contacts and networks they are pledging their support to early stage tech companies in a bid to make London the tech hub it should to be.”

These are worthy goals. It is easy to be cynical, but in all seriousness, it is plans like these that the UK needs.

The snag to all this is culture. According to a survey carried out by Euromonitor, when asked should a business be formed if there was a chance it might fail, no less than 43 per cent of Brits said no.

This is a shameful statistic.

Now consider the media, its preoccupation with the property market, and when it does cover entrepreneurs it does so with programmes such as ’The Apprentice’ and ‘Dragons Den’ that are so removed from reality, that it is like presenting the latest ‘Spider Man’ film as a documentary for the US defence department.

Well done Tech London Advocates, but where is the media in talking up the plan – and indeed Britain – for once?

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