David Cameron opens Tech City incubator IDEALondon

Initiative led by Cisco and partners set to nurture and grow London’s tech start-ups

A new centre designed to help support new and existing tech start-ups in the capital’s Tech City was unveiled on Friday by prime minister David Cameron.

Created from a collaboration between networking provider Cisco, media organisation DC Thomson and University College London (UCL), the Innovation and Digital Enterprise Alliance (IDEA) London, intends to ‘accelerate the growth’ of digital, tech and media start-ups in and around London’s Shoreditch area.

Said to be the ‘first of its kind’ in Tech City, the ‘innovation’ centre will initially house fifteen businesses who will be championed by one of the partner organisations and will receive a tailored programme of support, mentoring and funding.

The first businesses to join the incubator will be selected via Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway scheme (BIG) and UCL’s centre for entrepreneurship and business interaction; UCL Advances, where the ‘best and brightest’ entrepreneurs will be chosen.

DC Thomson has already welcomed two start-ups to the programme and will provide the new residents with guidance on commercialisation and advice to scale their businesses.

In addition to providing space for start-ups, IDEALondon will host UCL researchers working at the forefront of the digital industry to develop new products and services to take to the market.

The centre will also host the UCL DECIDE project, in partnership with DC Thomson and the BBC, which will provide a ‘living lab’ for digital and media projects where the university’s staff and student body will test and evaluate emerging digital products.

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Phil Smith, CEO of Cisco UK and Ireland, commented:

“IDEALondon is a vital element of the Cisco British Innovation Gateway created to nurture nationwide ingenuity and growth through entrepreneurship. The brilliant blend of UCL, DC Thomson and Cisco means start-ups can be more connected, skilled and ambitious than ever before.”

Professor Stephen Caddick, vice-provost for Enterprise at UCL and a member of the government’s Tech City Advisory Group, continued:

“IDEALondon will ensure the future growth and prosperity of start-ups across the area by giving them access to all the opportunities working with a world-leading university can provide – access to advanced lab facilities, computer scientists and a closed community market research programme – right on their doorstep.”



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