Boris Johnson ‘London’s Startups Can Compete’

Boris Johnson shares his thoughts on the importance of the London startup community.

If Boris Johnson worked for a London startup, the chances are his job title would be something like ‘Super Evangelist’. That’s because if there’s one thing the Mayor of London is good at doing it’s fighting the corner of London’s startups.

Speaking to Magnate, the Mayor said that London is ‘not only competing with Berlin and San Francisco’, but ‘doing better’.

‘If you look at the number of people working in London’s TechCity, we now have 40,000 people in that area alone. It’s a huge chunk of London’s economy, which has come from almost nowhere.

‘When I cycle around Shoreditch and I see the way in which the area is changing and the buzz which is being caused with all of the new companies moving in, I feel a great sense of excitement.’

Boris was keen to emphasise the fact that it isn’t only tech startups which are prospering in London, citing content creation as another growing market.

‘I think in the next 10 years – or perhaps even sooner – London will really start to out-strip the rest of the world as the number one place for content creation.

‘We’re already creating a huge amount of films in London, and we’re starting to introduce tax breaks for those creating games and films, which I think will have a dramatic effect on London’s economy.

‘One of the mysteries is why is it that London hasn’t yet produced a Google, or a Facebook? And the answer is there is no reason. It will happen. London has plenty of medium sized success stories and I think that the moment will come when London will have the mast to support a really huge venture.’

Image Credit: Andrew Parsons/ i-Images (BackBoris2012 Campaign Team)

  • Chris BeachI’m a Londoner, and left a career in finance to start StreetLend, which gets neighbours lending things to each other. It’s been a rollercoaster, but I find the buzz in Old Street (at places like Google Campus and high-tech cafe Timberyard) is electifying. There are so many people my age (30ish) breaking out of the 9-6 and into the …ahem.. 10-7, it’s a real movement.