London to hold first ‘Technology Week’

Plans have been unveiled for the first ever London Technology Week.

Announced by London Mayor Boris Johnson, the annual event will include more than 25 events with over 1000 influential tech experts attending.

New immigration rules are also set to give tech city firms the opportunity to bring in migrants on ‘exceptional talent’ – with 500 qualifying for visas from April and then another 500 from October.

Mr Johnson said: “There is nowhere to rival London for tech firms to thrive and grow – we have the talent, the investors and the entrepreneurial spirit. Our tech offer now spans the capital in its entirety, from Tottenham to Croydon and from Wembley to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“I want London’s world class tech sector to be as well known around the globe as our tourism, arts and financial services – it certainly deserves to be. London is where it all comes together. We need to build on this impressive growth and champion London as the global leader for ambitious tech companies.”

The Mayor also set out plans for a group of tech ambassadors to act as champions for the capital internationally and announced the arrival of three new tech firms who will open offices in the city, creating dozens of new jobs.

Park Jockey, a US company which has developed a free app to find car parking, Deya Tech, a Chinese firm which provides document management software and Solocal, a French e-commerce company that deals with online classified ads.

Some of the world’s leading tech figures joined the Mayor ahead of the announcement, with Sir William Sargent, chief of Framestore, expressing his delight with the news.

“When you grow a business you’re on a roller coaster, so if you feel you have a supportive environment around you, starting with local planners and the Mayor’s office, it can help you get over the little humps you experience in the first few years,” he said.

“The Mayor and the Government need to facilitate the virtual circle of success stories in London’s tech sector. All they can do is enable and champion, they can’t actually create the jobs or the businesses. It’s not about the money they spend, it’s about the personal enthusiasm they show for it.”

Kit Malthouse, Deputy mayor for business, and chair of London & Partners, said: “Our job is to help maintain the ecosystem. We’re the groundsmen that will help look after the pitch and provide the football so it’s ready when the players want to go out and play.”

Author: Martin Blythe