Britain’s Answer to Silicon Valley

Many of the world’s largest technology companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and eBay operate out of the San Francisco Bay area in America (also known as Silicon Valley). But could this all be about to change?
There is an unlikely part of London that has recently been causing quite a stir in the world of technology. Insiders have long known about the Silicon Roundabout – the junction of Old Street with City Road in Shoreditch, but until the multi-million dollar sale of TweetDeck by Twitter, London’s answer to Silicon Valley has remained largely out of the public eye.
So just how has this small part of London built itself up to be coined ‘Tech City’ by the government and Silicon Roundabout to locals? Well the facelift has been fast as even just four years ago this part of London would barely muster a mention.
In 2008 Richard Moross set up Moo.com here, an online printing company. The offices that Moross moved into were too big for just one company so he decided to offer cheap rental rates to other start-up companies. Those companies moved on to larger offices in the same area once they became more established but there were always new businesses ready to move in. Then in 2010 TechHub was set up to provide cheap and flexible office space for entrepreneurs. That was the beginning of the tech-revolution.
Since then hundreds of other online businesses have moved to the Old Street area including TweetDeck, Last.fm, SoundCloud, Mind Candy and now even Google has a UK base near Silicon Roundabout. What’s more, business is booming, which has made the government sit up and take note. They have promised support for the fledging businesses on the Roundabout whilst BT and Barclays are also pledging their support.
The hope is that once Olympic Fever has died down, London’s Silicon Roundabout will take over and provide the key to the economic recovery. That might seem like a pie in the sky achievement to some but to others the dotcom bubble provides real hope, and where would the Internet be without ideas based on dreams?