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Cisco’s £3.5m innovation centre for digital start-ups set for roll-out

News follows announcement of £50m worth of government support for Tech City

Multinational networking systems developer Cisco has today launched a roll-out programme of ‘innovation hothouses’ starting with IDEALondon in the heart of Tech City.

Developed in partnership with Scottish publishing company DC Thomson and University College London (UCL), IDEALondon will provide promising tech start-ups with mentoring programmes, training and business support.

The Shoreditch-based site is the first in a list of planned centres and will be linked closely to a partner site in Dundee, which will aim to accelerate start-ups in the digital industry and boost the video games cluster in the city.

The three partners are set to invest over £3.5m in the scheme over the first three years, in addition to investment in individual businesses, of which they are hoping to home around 25 in the Tech City-based centre.

The launch follows the government’s £50m pledge to boost Tech City and a host of other major corporates have committed to the London innovation hub, including Microsoft and KPMG, which have both launched support centres for tech start-ups.

The innovation centres are launched as part of Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway (BIG) initiative, to which the company dedicated £314m last year.

IDEALondon is also preparing to host UCL DECIDE; launched in in collaboration with UCL, DC Thomson and the BBC, the project will utilise the university’s 30,000 strong student and staff body to test and evaluate digital products.

Speaking in advance of the announcement, prime minister David Cameron said: “The presence of a globally renowned research university, together with a technology giant and a leading global publishing firm will further boost Tech City and will help us to compete and thrive in the global race.”

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