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London's Old Street | Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
London's Old Street | Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
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7 Reasons Why London Is Europe's Top Tech Hub

Picture of Claire Lancaster
Tech & Entrepreneurship Editor
Updated: 25 August 2017
Thanks to its vibrant startup ecosystem and wealth of highly-skilled tech workers, London is leading the way for European tech. Brexit or not, here are seven reasons why London is – and will likely remain – the continent’s top tech hub.

Follow the money

‘London’s tech sector has attracted more VC [venture capital] investment than any other European city since the Brexit vote, including Dublin, Paris and Amsterdam’, London & Partners reported in July 2017. Over £1.1 billion from VC investors has been injected into the tech sector since the beginning of the year.

On top of that, the first half of 2017 has already seen a record £4.5 billion in private equity investment. ‘This year’s record investment levels show that London’s tech sector continues to thrive and remains open to investment from all over the world’, said Laura Citron, London & Partners’ chief executive.

Silicon Roundabout: East London’s Tech City

London is home to major tech players, and its ‘Tech City’, centred around the Old Street roundabout, and known locally as the Silicon Roundabout, continues to grow as a hub of innovation. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Intel and Cisco have all previously made investments in this area, with Amazon recently confirming its commitment to a continued presence in the capital post-Brexit. ‘London is a great place to innovate and is a melting pot of highly skilled talent, which is why we have a long-term commitment to the capital’, Amazon UK’s Doug Gurr told Culture Trip. ‘Our new Shoreditch head office will allow us to continually innovate on behalf of our customers, enable small businesses to export around the world, and attract the best and brightest talent from the tech industry’.

Human capital

London is rich with with homegrown and international tech talent. While there is legitimate concern that Brexit will threaten the city’s ability to retain and attract international workers, the government has indicated an early commitment to preserving the city’s deep talent pool. According to Stack Overflow, this year the capital remains home to more tech developers than any other city outside the US, with worker numbers up 11 percent year-on-year in the 12 months leading up to June 2017 – a hopeful indication that the city will work hard remain a welcome hub for a diversity of top talent.

Workers in London’s Silicon Roundabout
Workers in London’s Silicon Roundabout | Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Top-tier universities

London is home to world-leading institutions including University College London, King’s College, London School of Economics and London Business School. These top-tier centres of education, research and innovation provide a boost to the industry and serve as a magnet for talent.

Language & location

Thanks to its access to mainland Europe, privileged position between Asia and North America and English language, London has long been the world’s leading financial centre. The same benefits are now applying to the tech scene, which also benefits from London’s financial prowess.

Networking opportunities

‘Interpersonal networking is critical to a startup’s success, and the face-to-face networking that these meetups enable is hugely important to the growth and success of digital businesses’, reads Tech City’s pitchbook. According to Meetup, London hosted 22,000 tech-related meetup events last year alone – nearly three times as many as Berlin, Amsterdam or Paris.

Friendly to the ‘flat-white economy’

Government-led support for the tech industry has led to a new tech business forming in London every hour, reports Tech City UK. Clearly, the ‘flat-white economy’ (an economy powered by startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses) is flourishing.

‘The fundamental strengths of London as a centre for technology and business have not changed and we have everything companies need to be successful: policy makers, finance, infrastructure, world-class universities and talent’, said Laura Citron, chief executive of London & Partners.

Continue your culture trip around Britain’s tech scene with our roundup of the UK’s 25 hottest startups.