Vodafone has announced plans to open a new technology and incubation centre in East London's Tech City, offering technical expertise, financial assistance and logistical support for the next generation of British start-ups.
The company has not yet decided where to locate the centre, and was unable to provide any more details about the number of start-ups it will accommodate. However, the company said in a statement that the incubator would cater to businesses in the mobile internet and creative media industries.
“This announcement is an excellent reflection of Tech City’s success as a thriving hub of innovative technology companies, combined with ready access to Europe’s largest venture capital community,” said Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green.
The centre will draw on the experience of Vodafone Ventures, the company’s corporate venture capital arm, which has been investing in new businesses for over a decade.
Siavash Alamouti, Vodafone Group Research and Development Director, said that the talent, entrepreneurial spirit and wealth of start-up companies in East London, make Tech City an ideal location for the centre.
Vodafone intends to have its centre in Tech City up and running towards the end of the year.
News of the London hub follows the launch last year of Vodafone's xone incubator in Silicon Valley. Vodafone xone offers start-ups support from a team of professionals in the areas of business development, network and device architecture, consumer electronics, payment and billing mechanisms, data analytics and content delivery.
Earlier this year, Google launched a co-working space in Tech City, called Google Campus. The facility offers work areas, events space, relaxation points and a café spread over seven floors, and also hosts events, speaker series and mentoring programmes for entrepreneurs.
A recent report by think tank Centre for London estimated that there are at least 3,200 digital firms in the existing Tech City cluster. Of those, 1,500 are in the 'core wards' of Clerkenwell, Hoxton and Haggerston.