What makes a Tech Hub get the disruptive glory?
Gerard Grech, current chief exec for London’s Tech City, recently argued that by putting London at the heart of all tech and digital investment, other significant regional hubs are at a distinct disadvantage. But why is it always the East End that’s generating a buzz? Despite the talk of decentralisation, London is still the UK tech hub. InsideStartups.co.uk states there are over 1,300 technology and fintech start-ups in London alone.
With the Tech City initiative, the current government is hopeful that centralising their efforts will aid the tech and digital industries as a whole. But in future, who knows where the Tech Cities of tomorrow may be. Here are a few starters for ten:
Many people are aware of the hardware successes of semiconductor firms like CSR and ARM Holdings doing much to build up the stature of this collegiate city. Looking at a recent Top 50 ranking of “killer” start-ups in Cambridge, the region has plenty to crow about. Considering that much of the current innovation coming out of the Fens now includes Healthcare, Big Data, and artificial intelligence, this is a likely candidate.
Newcastle Rated by the Guardian as one of the UK’s ‘best kept tech secrets,’ Newcastle might be a hidden gem. Notable ventures like social crowd-funding platform Givey and others now benefit from Ignite100, a local start-up accelerator created in the region to foster growth and a possible £100,000 early stage investment.
Belfast Long known for aerospace manufacturing, Belfast is heralding a new era of innovation. Over 110 start-ups are now based in the city’s Northern Ireland Science Park, where many are at the forefront of not only aerospace, but software design. There is even a credible angel investment network called Halo now found right in the park.
Grech also argues for local governments ensuring they do more to promote regional investments, and keeping future innovators at home. Different areas certainly prompt different kinds of development and innovation and this variety keeps things interesting. Whilst Tech City may be the centre of tech innovation in London, the UK has plenty of tech talent to offer, so it’ll be very interesting to see what will come from the likes of the Cambridge Corridor in the coming months and years…