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"Silicon Roundabout" gets £1m state investment


By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 6 May 2011 at 14:56

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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User comments

Keep government out!

They just need to tax less and keep their grubby paws away from entrepreneurship and creative free markets. Government and state intervention are the exact opposite of what is needed. But do they learn?

By Alperian on 7 May 2011

@Alperian - I agree

I bet in a few years time we find:
1. The TSB spent more on administering this fund than they paid out in grants.
2. The companies that get grants find that the grant barely covers the cost to them of applying for it.
3. Numerous companies who apply and are unsuccessful then fail when they would otherwise have succeeded by spending the resources directly on developing products.

If the government insists on spending taxpayer's money on the tech industry, they should spend it on education (including teaching entrepreneurship) and on large-scale scientific projects like space, fusion power and nanotechnology which develop whole industries not just new competitors in already overcrowded markets.

By JohnAHind on 8 May 2011

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