Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, London has carried on its shoulders the inheritance of Athens and Rome in matters of progress in Europe. If Civilization and Philosophy were born in the Greek Polis, with Bureaucracy and State organization raised in Julius Caesar’s city, London has always been inclined to host technology developments.
It has exploited its position as a bridge-head to the new world, a window opened to the future.
All pretty grandiose and lofty isn’t it? Well, it’s all well founded – London has developed a near perfect ecosystem that enables new innovation to flourish at a fast pace: bureaucracy is lean, access to leading sources of capital support and some of the world’s most recognised brands call London home
London has become a melting pot of cultures, the city of equal opportunities that challenges everyone to give their best: this has generated an heterogeneous and super productive environment, where 53% of the employees working in a startups are foreigners, and where 18% of founders are women. This differentiates London from any other city, creating new and exciting scenarios, opportunities and business.
This post is mostly inspired by the research collected in the Startup Compass report, Silicon Valley is still the biggest startup hub (somewhat obvz!). the 45% of Venture Capital annual investments are aimed at California, with London coming sixth in the allocation of VC interest
Even though it’s not in the top 3, it is the city with the highest growth rate: the exit value of startups based in London has quadrupled from 2012. There are now 5400 Tech Startups (40% more than 2012) which were valued at the end of 2015 at $44 Billion. As well, the city ranks 3rd in market reach
These elements make London the perfect city to develop a startup business, in any stage of its growth. If you’re a young, risk-taking entrepreneur, you’ll find out that the Government supports the startup Tech scene in lots of financial and advisory way and cares about your ideas like few other places.
This positive ecosystem gives London-based startups a close relationship with consumers and big companies and government framework. VC’s are willing to invest on average per year from 17% to 26% more in London than in any other city in Europe.
But what about Brexit? Right, it seems like a really difficult challenge to overcome. Many VC’s though, have already confirmed their support to growing businesses that are worth their time and investment. With a base in London, a startup can enjoy numerous benefits, a lead in to the best Technology Universities in Europe (i.e. Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College) and a strong position in the middle of the biggest English speaking market in Europe. The potential brain drain after Brexit has to be considered obviously
What about the economy? Well, hard to say, but actually some areas considered as negative impact could be an attractive metric for the London tech community. If the price of sterling dips it could further attract foreign investors looking at disruption for half the price (To some entrepreneurs a global VC is valuable at any price!)