Feeds

back to article Silicon Roundabout £50m THING to spew 200 startups A YEAR

Prime Minister David Cameron and Mayor of London Boris Johnson have unveiled plans to establish a £50 million "technical and creative institute" around the area dubbed the Silicon Roundabout at Old Street in London. The plans, set out at a conference organised by LSE Cities, propose an architecture-designed scheme housing 200 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Bronze badge

Let me predict the outcome

Here's a sample of what's to come, unless the U.K angel investors read this and wise up fast -

https://readwrite.com/2012/12/03/lets-all-shed-tears-for-the-crappy-startups-that-cant-raise-any-more-money

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Let me predict the outcome

Quite enjoyed that when I first read it.

I'm all for starting the businesses of the future, but that's not what most of the startup scene seems to be about, it seems to be about a cycle of coming up with a derivative idea, hyping and pumping it until someone gives you some money, hyping and pumping it some more then trying to sell the company to someone so that the founders can make a successful exit, where 'successful' is measured solely by the size of the bags of cash. Meanwhile, basically none of them have effected any change AFAICT.

Let me also say that when I was a Londoner the areas 'Shoreditch' and 'Old Street' were to be avoided on account of being packed full of insufferable tw*ts.

5
0
Silver badge

The beginning of the end

Silicon Roundabout got going without any of these initiatives, sponsorships or political interference (some might argue, that's WHY it succeeded). To now have the government pitching in and hijacking the concept for it's own political ends is much more likely to bring about the demise of the area, rather than to help it.

There are only so may people with an entrepreneurial spirit - you can't make more of them just by flinging money or mentoring around. The best thing any government could do to help small businesses to start, grow and flourish is to reduce the regulatory overheads and keep the hell out of the way.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: The beginning of the end

Shoreditch filled with tech startups because it was cheap. It was cheap because it was nasty.

The ongoing efforts to smarten the place up have caused rents to triple.

Throwing money at new startups just so they can afford the new rents is Bloody Stupid, and the next wave of en- and nontrepreneurs will simply go elsewhere.

9
0
TRT
Silver badge
Coat

Re: The beginning of the end

Please...

Indium Gallium Arsenide Roundabout.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: The beginning of the end

Or even:

Sulphur Hydrogen Iodine Tellurium Roundabout

3
0
TRT
Silver badge

Sulphur Hydrogen Iodine Tellurium Roundabout

Hang on... I just worked out the acronym for that... that's not really a semiconductor substrate is it?

2
0
TRT
Silver badge

Re: The beginning of the end

It could be the "Shoreditch Hub for I.T."

0
0
Anonymous Coward

While...

... I'm all for rounding up all the ponytailed, latte-swilling Julians and putting them in one place, I'd much prefer it if that place were somewhere like St Kilda, or Rockall.

2
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

They really don't get it...

When will it sink in that with hi-tech businesses you don't actually need to set up an expensive office in a place which means that your staff all end up spending half as much time commuting in hellish conditions as they actually spend in the office.

Spend the money helping businesses rent office space as and when needed in any of the thousands of existing serviced offices that already exist in London and around the country.

4
0
Bronze badge
Happy

Re: They really don't get it...

Don't be ridiculous - you can't do anything without decent architecture! I read it in an architecture journal.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: They really don't get it...

I agree in principal, but for startups being located in close proximity to specialized financial, legal and technical resources is a big deal. Face to face conversations will never be outdated.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: They really don't get it...

"Face to face conversations will never be outdated."

But people who think they won't, will be outdated.

We're talking technology startups here. What, precisely, do they need to "glad-hand" people for, if they're so good and capable of bringing in so much money to the area?

Every technology startup I know that was successful, the founders were geeks who wouldn't know what "meet in person" meant, and probably thought it was something to do with Skype video-calling. And they got successful by bypassing traditional business and doing things that everyone said was "impossible" and they wouldn't get any money for.

1
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Sigh

Wouldn't it be better to invest this in the north east? A plethora of people that you can pay slightly less yet still be connected to major infrastructure.

Lower rent, lower wages. Surely this is a no brainier.

5
0
Ru
Silver badge

Re: Sigh

Well, ish.

If you start a business somewhere which already has a decent number of businesses in the same sector, finding staff without requiring them to relocate becomes substantially easier. Also, if you're selling product to other businesses rather than consumers, proximity to the businesses you're selling to is a significant bonus (cos you can just pop next door for a meeting or support call).

Establishing a new business in a location that doesn't have these two benefits makes what is already a tricky task just that little bit more difficult, and it'll take a determined crew to make it work. Government funding has never managed to fix this; it just has to happen "organically".

0
0

Re: Sigh

North East. Or North West. Or Yorkshire, the East Midlands, the West Midlands, Wales, the South West...

Basically anywhere but London/the South East would be a better idea.

3
0
Bronze badge
Stop

Re: Sigh

Try Berlin - rents at one third, and decent uncrowded, cheap public transport.

http://siliconallee.com

2
0
Silver badge

Berlin

And two opera houses that have a different production every night...

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Sigh

Trouble with Berlin is the rents are skyrocketing, albeit from a relative low compared to London, and the existing residents are starting to get very vocal about the newcomers. The remaining cheap bits are not areas you want to go to - run down estates out on the Eastern end of the city with serious crime problems, particularly focused on "foreigners" (where foreign can even mean people born and bred in other parts of Berlin).

0
0
Go

Re: Sigh

Or Croydon even...

http://thecroydoncitizen.com/croydon-tech-city-2/

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Sigh

I was thinking north east mainly because I worked there for EDS. It has huge DWP and BT data centres. A plethora of young university types. As well as cheap housing and a Greggs on every corner. Cheaper booze and the mighty night owls presenter, the flashing blade himself - Alan Robson .

0
0

ministers need a building which

makes a nice photo op....

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: invest in the North East

Didn't we already try that with a chip factory up there? Can anyone remember the name?

No, if it is to succeed, it must be inside the M25, preferably inside the MegaCongestion Zone.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: invest in the North East

Chip factory up North? Harry Ramsden's, you mean?

GJC

0
0
Joke

Re: invest in the North East

Can anyone remember the name?

Harry Ramsden's?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: invest in the North East

The chip factory in the North Eastcould have been a couple of possibilities (maybe there are others too)

1) a DRAM fab for Fujitsu, sited in Newton Aycliffe. It closed in 1998.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/164762.stm

2) a DRAM fab for Siemens, sited on North Tyneside, opened 1997, closed (losing over 1000 jobs) in 1998.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/143085.stm

0
0
Coat

>Didn't we already try that with a chip factory up there? Can anyone remember the name?

Er - Harry Ramsdens?

1
0
Silver badge

The deja vu is strong today :-)

GJC

0
0
Megaphone

Excellent location

If new startups are going to learn the most important aspect of running a business - the effective avoidance and evasion of Corporation Tax - then Silicon Roundabout is an excellent location from which to watch and learn.

Though personally I'd rather see the Silicon Roundabout types relocate in a proper offshore haven, preferably Rockall.

1
0
Silver badge

Fat pipes and cheap office space

That's all you need. Fat pipes are the one thing they ain't going to provide, and the office space won't be cheap.

Digital industries don't need people to be physically congruous in a hub. The only reason for building a hub is for politicians to parachute in and boost their cool factor during election year. (Oh and possibly for Francis Maude to install his Savile-style casting couch)

1
1
TRT
Silver badge

Re: Fat pipes and cheap office space

Fat pipes sound ideal for linking up branches of Harry Ramsden's.

2
0
Silver badge

And yet

They see no problem in potential engineers facing a lifetime's debt for their education.

When it comes to not-adding-up there is something olympic class about this mob.

6
0
Silver badge
FAIL

MediaLab Europe

Remember that?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/04/mit_media_lab_ireland/

Can anyone see any parallels here?

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.