Yet another campaign for a english (silicon valley) techhub

So I started to write a comment to this TechCrunchUK blog post. But decided it was worth writing a blog post instead.

So a quick overview of the blog post. Mike Butcher went to Dublin to check out Digital Hub which is funded by the Irish government. He then launches into a pled for the same thing in the UK. He names it the Techhub and starts to say it should be based in London.

But I think it ought to be in London. Why? Simple really. Money, access and the networks inside London. Startups can make use of the amazing access to the wealth of mentoring, venture capital and talent here. I know there is an argument for creating other centres around the UK. But the classic clustering effect created by Silicon Valley would be replicated by concentrating efforts on one geographical area.

Yawn! I've heard it all before, and to be frank its getting a little tired. What is it with people and big shiny shiny central locations? What would this all achieve? Remember the dome people dummys! What about all the other simular activities going on all across the country? Liverpool where I was tonight has something like this, Manchester already has the MDDA and is working with many others on Media City UK, even Bristol now has the iShed project which i'm hearing so much about. Yeah forget all those, lets build another one bigger that everyone elses. Also what is the need to duplicate Silicon Valley in the UK? We should be building on our strengths and building the next, not a copy of the past.

What really gets me is, what is techcrunchuk going to do to make this all happen? Seriously, what practically are they going to do?

I was talking to the people at Geekup Liverpool today and explaining how Geekdinners changed over time and how it was different from other events in London at the time. The point I was making, was that when I first moved to London, I got fed up of the events I was going to. So I did something about it. I made something happen. I mean for example, the Techcrunch tours, what happened to those? What came out of them? Anyway, Mike jokes at the end…

This is going to require people from government to get involved. I may even have to kidnap Boris Johnson and hold him to ransom.

I'm not advocating kidnap, but hell if you could get some action by fingering through that massive contact list you must have and pulling some strings to get something done. Then great do it. But till then, I don't really want to hear anything more about techhub. Support whats currently going on across the country before thinking up yet another version of the same.

Rant over….sorry mike but its frustrating to see what people are doing across the UK and your advocating something which doesn't seem to help them or the industry in a meaningful way.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.