You may be thinking I've got you here under false pretences, but before you go back to surfing for porn, hear me out.
This is a blog about the technology startup scene in Britain. The perceptive among you will have noticed that the title is a rather splendid spoonerism, (try saying “tech startup” ten times really fast), and frankly, I just couldn't resist.
But there are other reasons why I think the name is justified. London's startup community, based in Shoreditch represents the sexy side of IT. This is where talented, creative entrepreneurs from all over the world are setting up shop, touting their wares and trying to create the next big technology craze.
The nice thing about startup companies is that they tend to be non-corporate - you don't see many suits in Tech City, unless the investors are in town. With many of these companies consisting of just a handful of people, they are getting by on a wing and a prayer, hence the attraction to Shoreditch, where shared office space is cheap and there are business incubators aplenty.
This means the area is dominated by smart people with clever ideas and a work-hard play-hard attitude. The majority of entrepreneurs here are young and driven, and Shoreditch provides the ideal environment for meeting like-minded people and discussing possible projects over a coffee or a beer.
The variety of technology-based startups in Tech City is massive, ranging from mobile application and software developers to viral marketing companies and social media agencies. Meanwhile, many of the biggest industry names - including Cisco, Vodafone, Google and Intel - have also set up offices here, hoping to benefit from the pool of talent on offer.
While the UK government has been keen to promote Tech City as “Britain's answer to Silicon Valley”, the comparison is fairly half-baked. Silicon Valley is a well-established technology hub in California that attracts billions of dollars worth of investment each year; London's Tech City community is still nascent and, rather than existing in a geeky bubble, tech startups in Shoreditch are interspersed with an array of fashion, music and art companies.
While some commentators use this as an excuse to dismiss the Tech City concept - mocking it with the nickname “Silicon Roundabout” - I would argue that this melting pot of creative companies is a far more stimulating environment to work in than Silicon Valley. London's tech entrepreneurs are tapped in to the latest trends, and the potential for creative collaboration is always high.
You may think I'm making sweeping generalisations here, but check out these two pictures and tell me the Tech City crowd isn't sexier:
OK, well maybe it's a matter of taste...
Of course, Shoreditch is by no means the only place in the UK where innovation is happening. There is a large community of technology startups in London's Soho, as well as others in Cambridge and Edinburgh. All of these form a patchwork quilt of technology innovation in the UK, and this blog will follow its growth and development.
Whether you work for a big technology firm, run your company's IT department, manage a startup company yourself, or are just interested in the way technology is changing the world, this is the industry to watch.
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