Former Skype vice president and Telefonica global innovation director Russ Shaw has founded Tech London Advocates and recruited a host of influential supporters.
The group will aim to help accelerate the growth of London’s technology small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by facilitating partnerships between start-ups and FTSE 250 businesses as well as large international companies and investors.
Shaw has secured the services of 150 individuals including seven influential founding members including: Sherry Coutu, co-chairman of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK; Songkick CTO Dan Crow; Wayra Europe’s managing director Simon Devonshire; Kevin Eyres, former UK managing director of LinkedIn; Index Ventures partner and investor Saul Klein; Ariadne Capital founder Julie Meyer and David Richards, founder and CEO of WANdisco.
According to a statement, Tech London Advocates will centre on trying to establish London as a ‘world-class’ hub for digital and technology businesses. It will be working with the Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to address issues which affect London’s ability to support growing technology companies.
Shaw, founder and chairman of Tech London Advocates, comments, ‘The biggest problem start-ups face in London is getting to the right people that can deliver the necessary investment, talent, connections that lead to powerful relationships, teams and ultimately growth.
‘Tech London Advocates believe that this is a simple problem to solve. Using their relationships, contacts and networks they are pledging their support to early stage tech companies in a bid to make London the tech hub it should be.’
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Advocates will initially be challenged to recruit at least one new Tech London Advocate within six months of the launch, broadening the group’s global influence, it says, and ability to support the tech community across London and the UK.
The move is the latest in a line of tech hub-boosting initiatives including: Boris Johnson and Joanna Shield’s trip to Dubai to cement a relationship between the cities’ two clusters; a commitment of £50 million worth of government capital to develop Old Street Roundabout; and the creation of a new High Growth Segment of the London Stock Exchange.
Devonshire adds, ‘At Wayra, we have the privilege of working with some of Europe’s most exciting technology start-ups.
‘London has rightly gained a reputation as a centre of excellence for digital and technology innovation, and Tech London Advocates have a major role to play in facilitating the next stage of London’s development as a global hub for tech entrepreneurs.’