Speaking at the launch of Tech.London at City Hall today, Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia extolled the virtues of London, explained why it was better than Silicon Valley and how being a melting pot of innovation and creativity is important for the future of the UK's capital.
“Many people I meet people around London who say “when are you going back to San Francisco”, but I live in London and one of the reasons I live in London is that incredible spirit of being a global city, an international city… And of course the tech community in London is incredibly important to the city and the future of the UK. This is an era of great transition the UK in no longer the great powerhouse of mining and manufacturing it once was but it is still incredibly powerful creative hub.” explained Wales.
The launch of Tech.London marks the start of London Technology Week, a week celebrating the London tech scene. Tech.London is a new website that’s designed to be a central hub for local tech start-ups. It aims to help them develop, grow and succeed by finding support from investors, but also the government and other like-minded companies and individuals
The start-up culture made so famous by Silicon Valley, and its eponymous TV series, isn’t a patch on London, Wales believes. He went on to say:
“One of the things that’s really important in London is this quite properly British self-deprecation that “oh things are so great over in Silicon Valley” but I can tell you things aren’t that great in Silicon Valley. London has all these incredible advantages of having a tech scene, but it’s also somewhere people want to live. No-one wants to live in Silicon Valley, it’s dreadful out there, I’m very happy not to have to live there.
London is an incredible cultural city that sits on the crossroads of the world. In the US we’ve got San Francisco for tech, LA for the movie industry, in New York you’ve got finance and advertising, Washington politics – London has all of these things and it allows for a great cross-breed of ideas and culture and excitement, it’s a great place to do business.”
To find out more about Tech.London, a joint initiative between IBM and the Mayor of London, and to add your start-up to the ever growing list visit www.Tech.London.