Mayor Boris Johnson launches London Tech Ambassadors Group

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Mayor Boris Johnson launches London Tech Ambassadors Group

Caroline Baldwin

Mayor Boris Johnson has launched the London Tech Ambassadors Group as part of his vision to make London the technology capital of the world.

Johnson has created the group from some of the leading names in London’s technology sector, including Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK, Kathryn Parsons, Co-CEO Decoded, Claire Cockerton, deputy head at Level 39 and Russ Shaw founder, Tech London Advocates.

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The London Tech Ambassadors Group will be chaired by deputy London Mayor, Kit Malthouse, who said: “I am delighted at the creation of this new group of tech ambassadors, which contains some of London’s most high-profile advocates for its wildly successful tech sector.

"These ambassadors will provide a voice for the industry and ensure that London’s tech firms continue to develop and grow.”

The London Tech Ambassadors Group will strive to make London the technology capital of the world, driving job creation and growth across the city.

Some 84% of technology SMEs in London believe the outlook is bright for their sector, with 71% saying their location in the UK capital will help to attract future investment.

YouGov polled a total of 161 middle managers from technology SMEs in London, 73% of whom said they were positive about the future of their businesses. Meanwhile over half said they would expand their business in London, with 32% choosing to expand in other areas of the UK.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “There is nowhere to rival London for tech firms to thrive and grow – we have the talent, the investors and the entrepreneurial spirit.

“I want London's world-class tech sector to be as well known around the globe as our tourism, arts and financial services - it certainly deserves to be. London is where it all comes together. We need to build on this impressive growth and champion London as the global leader for ambitious tech companies.”

Explosive growth of London’s Tech City initiative

Tech City was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron and Mayor Boris Johnson in 2010 to support the growth of the London technology cluster in "Silicon Roundabout" in Old Street.

Since 2010, London has experienced a 75% increase in the number of Information Communications and Technology companies investing in London from overseas.

Nicola Mendelsohn, European vice-president of Facebook, said: “London is a rich source of engineering and technology talent. We opened our office here because the best people are already here and we keep playing an active role in this ecosystem which is second to none. 

"London is a great place to be for building the future.”

London now has 32 accelerators and incubators for start-up companies, out of total of 50 in the UK. Between 2010 and 2013, more than 340 London-based technology companies have attracted investment of over £1.47bn. In just the first three months of 2014, two London companies have been sold for £1bn (DeepMind bought by Google; Natural Motion bought by Zynga).

Michael Acton Smith, CEO of Mind Candy – the company behind Moshi Monsters – said: “We love being based in London. It's a vibrant and very varied city with a deep tech talent pool, great government support, and the occasional days of glorious sunshine. 

"It's a hotbed of fashion, finance, entertainment and media industries which leads to a very creative environment to forge new tech start-ups."


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