"Silicon Roundabout" gets £1m state investment

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Government body offers "competition prizes" of £100,000 for innovation ideas

The "Silicon Roundabout" on London's Old Street is to receive a cash injection totalling £1 million from the state-funded Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

The investment scheme - dubbed the Tech City Launchpad - will see companies in the area compete for funding awards of up to £100,000. The TSB claims that this government support will reassure investors and help start-ups to attract additional private funding.

“We want to support this hotspot of digital and creative industries by enabling companies to go further and faster towards commercial success,” said David Bott, TSB innovations director.

“We are looking for projects that may be too risky for companies to go for alone, or that may take them into new areas.”

Bott is understood to be particularly seeking ideas relating to "hot" technologies, such as mobile apps, web-based video and gaming, and expects more than 200 applications.

The competition will be based on a three-stage application process, starting with two-minute video submissions, in which tech companies will lay out their ideas.

Applicants will then be thinned out by a panel of judges made up from “community and experts”, with a written applications procedure leading to the cash awards.

If successful, the scheme could be rolled out to other areas of the country, TSB officials said.

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