Two great articles on the London scene



Entrepreneurship still makes people dream !  Two great writeups on the evolution of London as the epicenter of European innovation have just come out, one on Sunday Times by Oliver Bennett and one by Dominic White at Telegraph.

Looks like someone on the PR side has fed the theme to both in parallel. How else do you end up with “the new dotcom boom” in the Sunday Times corner and “Wake Up and Smell the Dotcom Brew” in the Telegraph corner.

If you have only time to read one I recommend Bennett’s piece in the Times.  A few soundbites:

“There are at least five venture-capital companies investing between $200m and $500m each across Europe, with at least 40% of this going to start-ups in the UK”.

So the venture capitalists are converging on London, their names whispered in the networking clubs: Index Ventures, Accel, Atlas Venture.

“London has become the Silicon Valley of Europe”

“We saw a generation of talent that was blooded in 2000,” says Saul Klein. “Those survivors are gold dust.”

Happy reading.

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6 Responses to Two great articles on the London scene

  1. mathew says:

    the times piece is especially good, as fred is quoted in it, as well :)

  2. Fred Destin says:

    I wish by now I would get a touch more credit for intellectual honesty and my ego is frankly not that bloated (I hope). The reason for choosing the Sunday Times piece is simply that it’s a bit more financial / VC-ish which is likely to appeal to the readers of this blog, whereas the other is more about the social scene.

  3. paitkenel says:

    For me being the focal point of European VC is step one for London. Frankly where is the real competition in Europe given that London is the financial, commerce, employment & immigration capital of Europe i.e. as a young European business it makes complete sense to be in London to access finance, customers, partners & employees.

    However The Sunday Times stating that London is the Silicon Valley of Europe is in my view a misrepresentation. Silicon Valley and to a lesser extent Herziliya in Israel are very small geographical areas that have a very high concerntration of start-ups, entrepreneurs, access to financial and human capital. The start-up culture literally seeps out of every wall of every office, coffee shop and eatery, and people are wired for it 24×7. People are on top of each other and therefore feed of each others energy.

    In short, step two for London VC’s should be a collaborative effort to have a geographical focal point (not Mayfair) for entrepreneurs – a place where would be entrepreneurs know they can go to and bang on doors to get their ideas heard / easily meet like-minded people – the Hollywood / Silicon Valley for European Tech Entrepreneurs. A start would be a collaborative effort of VC’s encouraging all of the businesses that they have just funded to locate to a specific area that is reasonably central. That would cause employees of start-ups to work in the same geographical areas, thus inspiring new ideas in a Silicon Valley / Herziliya style. The best entrepreneurs have worked in a startup somewhere else before -lets make it easier for them to connect.

    Coffee clubs, angel events, seedcamps et al are very useful, but alone they do not address the underlying issue i see.

    I am aware it is a long shot as this would take time and lots of effot. That said for me it boils down to how much European VC’s want Silicon Valley scale exits?

  4. If Israel was in Europe i would challenge the location of the european silicon valley. in the past 6 months there was 3 times more exit in the internet space in israel than in total europe. Not mentionning the fact that there are here at least 10 big funds doing internet deals

  5. Paul Fisher says:

    come on fred, any article about london web scene that omits balderton lacks all credibility

  6. In short, step two for London VC’s should be a collaborative effort to have a geographical focal point (not Mayfair) for entrepreneurs