“The British Ambassador Ian Whitting requests the pleasure of the company of Geir Freysson for dinner,” stated a letter that dropped into our mailbox a few months ago. Stapled to the invitation to meet the ambassador was the message “Tech City and UKTI visiting Reykjavik”.
Research shows that more than half of Silicon Valley’s tech startups are founded by immigrants. Someone noticed. Tech City, the UK government’s initiative to turn London into “the digital capital of Europe”, is now doing its utmost to reach out to European startups and convince them to set up camp in London.
One of the most important factors about Tech City is that it’s not just a government initiative. It wasn’t designed by a committee or dreamt up by a think tank. It’s an organic product that grew out of a unique set of circuimstances: Talented techies, (relatively) cheap office space and a city that is a world leader in countless industries. Over the last five years or so there has been an explosion in the number of tech companies starting up in London and Tech City is starting to get more and more press (see the Guardian’s “The Magic Roundabout” or Business Insider’s “Get To Know The Startups In London’s Tech City“).
I’ve been very impressed by the effort being put into Tech City recently, especially on the international side of it. The company I co-founded, Transmit (some know us as Brand Regard, which is our flagship product), has its headquarters in Reykjavík, Iceland. We are convinced that Tech City is the right place for us to expand our operations. From what I’m hearing from other European entrepreneurs, we’re not alone.