Is Tech City Britain’s Answer to Silicon Valley?

Google has announced it’s planning a multimillion dollar investment in the East End of London, supporting David Cameron’s ambitions for Tech City. It has already been referred to as ‘Silicon roundabout’ but can this development really compete with Silicon Valley, the centre that houses some of the world’s top technology companies?

The area in Shoreditch is now home to more than 500 British start-ups and technology companies. According to chief exec of the project Eric Van Der Kleij, Tech City is “the fastest growing tech cluster in Europe.” David Cameron has even declared his vision for the area of London to be “one of the world’s great technology centres”.

However, the British technology centre has already been snubbed by some large international companies including Twitter. Which poses the question, can this technology centre really compete with the likes of Silicon Valley?

Postcode Anywhere’s marketing and sales director Phil Rothwell said: “When you put this into perspective, California is the fifth largest economy by itself. It accounts for one-third of all of the venture capital investment in the United States. You simply can’t compare this type of entrepreneurial strength with the financial resources in the UK. At the moment it is very hard to see how the UK can compete. As far as I can see it will be a long time before we can create an alternative to Silicon Valley.

“That is not to say we shouldn’t encourage this type of development. The country needs to encourage risk takers to help its flagging economy.”