This week has been London Tech Week and with 55,000 attendees it has been Europe’s largest tech festival. Events have ranged from gala dinners, summits, speeches and workshops and have covered a variety of topics including artificial intelligence, cyber security, fintech, and skills development.
Aside from showcasing the variety of tech development that is occurring in the UK capital, it has proved that London’s dominance in innovation is likely to continue well into the future.
UK tech companies are a gold mine for the British economy. 80% of all venture capital money invested in the UK since 2016 has come from London’s tech firms. These firms have received over £5 billion in venture capital funding since 2016, which is more than France, Germany and Sweden combined. This year alone almost £900 million has been raised by tech firms.
It’s not just fintech either, from Artificial Intelligence to cyber security, EdTech and GovTech, the UK is home to companies that are leading the way in developing and implementing the latest cutting-edge technologies.
Things are also set to improve in the future. Earlier this year, Tech London Advocates unveiled its five year plan for UK tech. By 2023, TLA expects the London tech scene will have tripled to have one million digital tech workers.
By 2023 the London tech scene will have tripled to have one million digital tech workers.
This will no doubt be easier given the home secretary announced earlier this week that we will be creating new a new startup visa route, which will improve the visa process for entrepreneurs coming to the UK. It will replace the current graduate entrepreneur route, opening it up to a broader group of business founders, not just recent university graduates.
Focus is also set to move towards involving women in the tech industry and diversifying the current status quo. Currently there’s only been around 15 to 20 per cent female participation in the tech industry but this is set to double over the next few years.
Countries around the world, including China, are also starting to focus more on the UK than they are the United States. Chinese investors are starting to see the US as unreliable when it comes to Chinese tech, particularly with the US Congress blocking products developed by Chinese firms such as telecoms operate ZTE and the smartphone maker Huawei. This has led to a more favourable view to the tax incentives and innovation that occurs in London.
Those concerned about London’s isolation after the Brexit vote, need to look more closely at the level of engagement in technology that has occurred throughout the course of this week. Entrepreneurs looking to expand or start in Britain should examine the figures of investment and the attitude towards start ups. There could be no more welcome economy to technology investment and this will continue in post-Brexit Britain.