Tech London Advocates (TLA), a private sector coalition that is committed to championing startups in London, has revealed that it could expand to other regions at both a national and international level.
TLA chairman and founder Russ Shaw told Techworld this week that the organisation, launched in April last year, could “quite possibly” expand to other UK cities such as Cambridge or Oxford.
But Shaw, who is an angel and venture investor, member of Tech City Advisory Group and non-executive director of a number of high growth businesses, appeared to be more keen to take the idea overseas first.
“We have over 100 overseas advocates,” he said. “Some of them are Brits abroad but others are people [locals] who are very interested in what’s happening here. I’ve got three or four advocates now in Singapore looking to make that connection and maybe creating their own version of this in Singapore. We’ve got the same in Hong Kong.”
New York and Stockholm were cited by Shaw as other destinations where similar initiatives could be set up.
However, any expansion plans are unlikely to happen imminently. “London’s keeping me plenty busy at the moment,” said Shaw, adding that he wants to grow the number of TLA members from 900 to 1,000 before the end of the year.
TLA has set up a number of schemes and initiatives in London in a bid to support the city's tech startups.
In March, the advocacy group launched its "Triage" service, which offers free mentoring and advice to start-ups through over 120 of the Tech London Advocates, who have eached pledged to talk to start-ups about funding, tax enquiries, marketing and recruitment.
The organisation subsequently teamed up with the Home Office and Tech City UK to launch a scheme called Home Office Hours, which is designed to give tech entrepreneurs and businesses access to immigration officials who will help them to grow in the UK.