October 22 ,2014 | by Thiago Kiwi

London is great for startups, says former adviser to UK PM

London is great for startups

Rohan Silva, former adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron, has spoken of the benefits London offers for tech startups.

London is a great place to be a tech startup with plenty of opportunities, according to a former adviser to the prime minister.

 

Rohan Silva was a senior policy adviser on tech to David Cameron until last year, and is now one of the driving forces behind Second Home – an office space venture in Shoreditch, close to the heart of London’s tech sector, which provides space for young companies to help them get off the ground.

It was recently announced that Second Home would be the base for Pi Labs, the first accelerator programmeexclusively for startups in the property tech sector in Europe.

That variety of experience has made him one of the most interesting speakers at the ongoing Disrupt Europe startups conference in London, where he talked about the challenges and opportunities facing a young tech firm.

According to Mr Silva, there are few places in Europe that are better suited to the task than London. Its global appeal and reputation as a finance hub make the capital a great place to be close to sources of investment and potential collaborators.

“There’s one place in Europe that has a venture capital industry, and that’s London. Lots of places like Berlin, Copenhagen, and Stockholm have some funds, but there’s only London where there’s 30 funds and hundreds of potential angel investors,” he explained.

But there are even greater benefits to be gained from the sheer variety of industry to be found in the capital.

 

The fact that London serves as a hub for so many important industries means that not only is inspiration never far away, there are also plenty of opportunities for cooperation.

After all, London’s huge finance sector has almost certainly contributed to its status as a leader for financial tech, and its place at the eating heart of other sectors is likely to nurture similar growth in the future.

Mr Silva says that this mixture of sectors and disciplines is all part of London’s allure.

“I’m someone who believes in localism but London does have this advantage of being massively centralised,” he added. “It is a centre of finance, and also art, fashion, design and advertising. That’s real strength, that it’s a place where these worlds collide, and we need to encourage those collisions.”

Thiago Kiwi

Thiago is the LSBF Blog Editor who manages news and features content on the site, and writes about business, finance, technology, education and careers.

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