Telefonica will provide offices on Tottenham Court Road to 20 startups, along with funding of up to €50,000 (£41.8k), pushing entrepreneurs to develop ideas, but mostly to make more money. The project is called Wayra, and follows similar efforts in Madrid and Barcelona. Telefonica (owners of the O2 band) will provide desk space …
Why always London?
I live in Merseyside. We have developers and entrepreneurs here too. Its also a little cheaper to set up than in London.
Does anybody know of any such schemes to kick start tech firms in Merseyside or the North West?
Re: Why always London?
Because the cost of running a startup in central london is exorbitant. A single room 'office' in a central location, like what Telefonica are offering, would put you back in the region of £2k/month. A tiny flat is in the region of £1000 pcm, and that is a long way from the business centre. In Merseyside, I would imagine that things are significantly cheaper.
London is also the financial centre of Europe (arguable) and the cultural and economic centre of the UK (distasteful but true), so you have lots of companies that may be interested in what you are doing (and hence you may be able to sell to), and you also have access to a diverse job market - London is packed full of young, well educated EU graduates.
Liverpool doesn't have the depth of talent and skills you can find in London. You're more likely to make a successful startup in London than in Merseyside, and Telefonica aren't doing this to be cool, or to be sociable, they're doing it to make $$$.
Why is it always London there are programmers, people with good ideas, entrpreneurs in the rest of the country too you know !.
Re: why London
As an aside - maybe we developers in the North should set up our own Showcase and show everyone else what we can do up here!.
Re: why London
You ask why London and not the rest of the country.... but shouldn't you just be happy Telefonica S.A., the massive Spanish company, chose the UK at all?!?
As a Northerner shouldn't London be better than Madrid?
Private vs Public
will be really interesting to see the results and compare.
Given that the selection criteria will (hopefully) be managed by people at least with a clue and that there's some pretty defined structure to it I wouldn't be surprised if there is a higher success rate... or the project will shutter and never be heard of again.
The hard thing is going to be qualifying startups well enough and then helping introduce them to the right people to keep the momentum going but ... it's all good and hopefully will be big enough to make a dent