Co-operation between international tech sectors is better for everyone

London Tech Week is over for another year. Russ Shaw reflects on why, now more than ever, tech hubs from around the world must collaborate

People work better when they work together.

It’s a simple idea that is often put into practice at a local level, but can sometimes find itself out of fashion when applied to national or international issues.

In the tech industry, for example, international cooperation and collaboration between individuals, businesses and sectors has been central to the sector’s runaway growth.

Embracing the spirit of international co-operation

In London, a start-up can find success by working with skilled European workers backed by capital from Asian investors. The same can be said for any major tech cluster around the world.

Hubs in the United States, South East Asia and Europe have generated ecosystems that store intellectual property (IP) and knowledge by exchanging information, experience and capital with one another.

Over the course of London Tech Week, it’s been great to see events that celebrate this spirit of international cooperation with many from overseas attending the nearly 300 events.

I have ‘travelled the world’ this week as many groups including TLA Latam, TLA MENA (Middle East & North Africa), TLA China, TLA Africa, TLA Australia & NZ and TLA India all have hosted or supported international events…with TLA Russia hosting one last London Tech Week event on June 20.

What’s more, as emerging markets develop into modern economies, the potential to expend capital abroad has increased, providing European and American tech companies with lucrative investment opportunities.

In China, the rate of foreign direct investment has exploded, with capital flowing from East to West to support growth. Funds like China Science and Merchants (CSC Group), which manages investments in more than 100 cities globally, underline the value of a fluid system of international capital movement.

Why the potential for technology is greater when we work together

But, as every CEO knows, a business is only as strong as its people – and the same is true for tech.

In London, almost half of the tech industry’s workers hold an international passport. Tech companies rely on employing the best available talent to create tomorrow’s products and services.

In the same way that investment flows across borders, tech companies must be able to access the international workforce and ensure that they continue to grow.

We must work to encourage connectivity across national boundaries, establishing networks that allow tech sectors to transfer knowledge and exchange ideas.

By establishing sibling networks across the globe, Tech London Advocates is hoping to do just that.

Under the umbrella of Global Tech Advocates, we have created an international network that includes Tech Nordic Advocates, Tech Belfast Advocates, Tech North Advocates, Tech Bay Area Advocates and soon groups in Singapore, Spain and Shanghai.

We have seen the value in the exchange of new ideas and cultures, we understand the power of networks and we know that our potential is increased when we work together.

That is why, providing we resolve questions on international talent, there’s no reason to assume that the process of tech internationalism will not accelerate, helping to unlock potential and drive growth across the globe.

One of my key conclusions from London Tech Week 2017? London is on its way to becoming an epicentre of global tech!

Tech London Advocates founder Russ Shaw blogged for Startups.co.uk throughout London Tech Week 2017. Check out his recent blogs exploring why investment in the UK’s tech businesses will continue, despite Brexit and election uncertainty, and why London businesses need to address the elephant in the room.

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