Tech City Hopes To Be UK’s Silicon Valley

The UK Prime Minister hailed Tech City’s
200 per cent growth in the past year but warned it needed to improve the
education system to encourage morecompanies to east London.

Tech City (also known as Silicon Roundabout) is an loosely defined area around the Old Street roundabout in east London which is home to a group of new media, design and
software start-ups which is aiming in the long term to compete with Silicon
Valley in the US
as a hub for all technology start-ups. Now with more than 600 companies in the area, compared to just 200 last year, the area has seen unprecedented growth.

It was a year ago that David Cameron first visited Tech City
where he predicted that the combination of the energy of Shoreditch and the
“incredible possibilities of the Olympic Park” could propel east to become
“world’s great technology centres.”

Tech City Cameron

“One year ago we made a major commitment to helping the tech cluster in
East London grow,” said Cameron. “The
successful growth we see today is thanks to the talented, creative
entrepreneurs who have decided to set up there. As a government, we are
determined to continue doing everything we can to help support and accelerate
this growth.”

Today the Tech
City map
was unveiled,
which plots the more than 600 companies across the Silicon Roundabout and shows the
links between them. The map is the brainchild of Charles Armstrong, whose software company, Trampoline Systems, has
been operating out of Old Street
since 2003.

Tech City Cameron

One of the startups based in the Old Street area is Aurasma, which through a collaboration with the UK
Government and the Tech City community has helped to create a series of applications
(including the Tech City app), bringing the companies within the Tech
City corridor to life through augmented reality.

Aurasma uses advanced image and pattern recognition to recognise and
understand images and objects in the real world, blending them with rich
interactive content such as videos and animations called “Auras” – see video below.

Tech City companies are now invited to use
Aurasma’s free Developer Studio to create Auras and experiment to see what can
be created around the area’s locations, landmarks and buildings.

The area is now attracting some of the bigger names in the technology world with Google recently signing a lease on a building near Old Street roundabout. While this may
be seen as a positive move for the area, some smaller tech firms are
concerned that rents will begin to rise as a result of the area’s popularity.

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