Tech entrepreneurial spirit in London thriving, says Richard Branson

Entrepreneur and Virgin founder Richard Branson has declared that London is growing in terms of great ideas, investors and working spaces for the technology sector on the day that the maiden London Technology Week kicked off.

Technology leaders from across the country and beyond have come together to launch London Technology Week, a programme of over 200 events held between 16 and 20 June.

Held to showcase a digital technology sector expected to be worth £12 billion to the economy over the coming decade, as well as creating 46,000 new jobs, some 30,000 entrepreneurs are expected to come together during the week.

The mayor of London Boris Johnson has joined Branson, Tech City UK chair Joanna Shields, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sequoia Capital chairman Michael Moritz in supporting the event.

‘The tech entrepreneurial spirit is thriving. It’s a great time to showcase the capital’s successes and opportunities to the global tech scoter and demonstrate what London has to offer,’ Branson says.

Research put forward by London Technology Week suggests that the tech and information sector in London, Southeast and East England is growing faster than that of California – with London employing more financial technology workers than New York and San Francisco-Silicon Valley.

Hosting events during London Technology Week will be major corporates including Microsoft, Google and Eventbrite, as well as British tech firms such as Mind Candy and Hassle.

Commenting on the significance of London Technology Week, London mayor Johnson says, ‘Tech Week is a superb opportunity to hail the success of London’s tech sector, which despite only being in adolescence already makes a tremendous contribution to our economy and is outperforming our rivals around the globe.’

More on London Technology Week:

Michael Moritz, chairman of major US venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, which has itself made a number of investments in the capital, adds that Silicon Valley is often too busy bathing in its own ‘private sunshine’.

‘But the change in London’s technology climate has got us changing our weather apps,’ he reveals. ‘The weather alerts show that there will be plenty of opportunities to invest in technology companies based in London in the coming years – some of which will become global powerhouses.’

To coincide with the launch of London Technology Week, Swedish online payments business Klarna has announced that it is launching in the UK through a base in London and will now begin a £100 million investment in product development and roll-out.’

Shields, who handed over the Tech City UK role to Gerard Grech in January and now serves as chair, says that London is producing ‘world-leading’ digital businesses, which in turn are fuelling wealth creation and employment.

‘London is one of the fastest growing tech hubs and is proving its credentials as the location of choice for entrepreneurs to start and scale successful digital business.’

For entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to get involved with London Technology Week, GrowthBusiness has compiled a list of five things not to miss – one for each day the inaugural set of events are taking place.

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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