Tech City gets royal endorsement from Kate and Will


Tech City gets royal endorsement from Kate and Will

Kathleen Hall

In what may seem an unlikely endorsement by some, London's "Tech City" is to receive the royal seal of approval by Kate and Will, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

On the first day of their visit to the US, the royal couple will attend a panel debate on the cluster of technology businesses based around east London, as their first engagement to promote British business overseas.

Although the couple may not appear to have great knowledge of the technology industry, trade and investment minister Stephen Green welcomed the endorsement. "I am delighted that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are giving their very public support to Tech City and to British business," he said.

The news follows the announcement that digital businesses in east London will receive an additional £1m in government investment from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

The additional funding has been made available due to the excellent calibre of investment-worthy proposals submitted following the initial announcement of the Tech City Launchpad in April, said the TSB in a statement.

Initially £1m was earmarked for companies in Tech City, as part of a bid to foster growth in the area under TSB's Tech City Launchpad competition. The money will now be made available to 20 companies, double the original amount of recipients.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: "The Tech City Launchpad competition has already been a great success and the additional funding will enable us to double the number of small and micro companies and start-ups we are supporting. The competition makes the most of the cluster of high-tech companies in London, enabling those selected to go further and faster and transform their ideas into commercial reality."

The TSB will help approved projects gain the remaining 50% funding (up to £100,000) through a workshop involving potential investors such as business angels, venture capitalists and other companies in the digital and creative industries. The funding workshop is planned for 11 August.

Details of the twenty successful applications, and further information about the funding workshop, will be announced in early August.

Earlier this year, Chancellor George Osborne also ramped up government assistance to Tech City by announcing the creation of a new research centre in the area.

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