The future is looking brighter for London tech start-ups and the London digital jobs market after the launch of an initiative in the city to bat in their interests and successful first year for Google's Campus London project.
Tech London Advocates was launched last week, comprising 150 tech and business leaders who aim to help start-ups access funding, talent and mentoring on how to work with the city's multinational corporations, thus helping the businesses strengthen and grow.
Google, EE, the BBC, Facebook, Barclays and the London Stock Exchange are already on board with the project, a creation from former Skype president Russ Shaw. The commitment to the ever-growing London tech scene is mirrored by Google's Campus project, a seven-story hub in east London's Tech City offering workspaces for start-ups, mentoring programmes and networking events, which opened in April last year.
Campus attracted more than 10,000 members in its first year and hosted over 850 events for 60,000 guests. A study commissioned by Google showed employment at Campus-based start-ups had grown by 25 per cent, creating more digital jobs in London and providing entrepreneurs with a stronger foundation to bring in much-needed skills and expertise to their new business ventures.
Google European vice president, Matt Brittin, said: "Campus has exceeded all expectations in its first year. The second you walk into the building, you can't fail to feel the buzz and energy.
"As a Londoner, there's no doubt in my mind that something very special is happening at Campus and in London, and we're delighted to be playing a role in it."
Campus and Tech London Advocates aren't the only initiatives in London set up to boost start-ups; Silicon Milkroundabout is now in its third year of providing events and opportunities designed to bring start-ups together with job hunters in an effort to combat the competition between small businesses and big corporations in attracting skilled and talented workers.
Silicon Milkroundabout co-founder Pete Smith is excited about the efforts to support London start-ups and says the tech and digital job markets are bringing good news for job hunters.
"It's just so great to have in the area," he says of Campus. "It's great for community-building, especially for very earliest-stage start-ups. Founders are getting out and meeting each other at the very earliest of stages - there's a single place for them to go and hang out, rather than be distributed across lots of coffee shops and workspaces.
"We know through our work at Silicon Milkroundabout that the jobs market in start-ups is increasing," he continues. "We've placed more than 400 people through out events over the past couple of years and all of those are new jobs created by young companies.
"You can bet there are more openings than that right now, those are just the positions we've been able to help fill.
"A lot of early-stage start-ups value people with broad skills. If a software engineer also has an eye for design or a designer also has front-end coding skills, they're in a great position in the jobs market."
The digital and tech sectors are estimated to contribute more than £66bn to the UK economy annually and inner-east London is predicted to benefit from 31 per cent growth by 2031. The London industry alone is worth around £34bn a year to the UK economy, providing more than 48,000 digital jobs in London, according to a report by Demos.
Silicon Milkroundabout's next big event takes place on 11-12 May and is expected to attract more than 100 start-ups offering in excess of 800 jobs to digital and tech jobseekers and graduates in London.
"Later in the year we're planning a tour of start-ups' office in Tech City," Smith added, "and we have interesting ideas around running smaller, more focused events a bit more regularly than the six-monthly intervals we work on at the moment."
The UK digital economy is growing nearly three per cent faster than the G20 average figures from the Boston Consulting Group showed the UK's internet economy accounted for 8.3 per cent of GDP, putting it ahead of South Korea, China, Japan and the US.