Boris Johnson to promote London Tech City in live Google Hangout

Mayor Boris Johnson is to host a live Google Hangout to promote London Tech City to overseas investors tomorrow, making him the first high-ranking UK politician to use the video chat platform.

The session, which will take place tomorrow (26 April) at 5pm at the InnoTech Summit in London, is aimed at driving awareness of the UK digital economy to help attract investment.

Johnson will speak with US venture capitalists who will join the video chat from InnoTech Summits held at 9am (Pacific Standard Time) in Silicon Beach, Los Angeles, and San Fransisco.

Participants will include Felda Hardymon, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, Alastair Mitchell, CEO and co-founder of Huddle, and Mark Terbeek, partner at Greycroft, a venture capital for digital media start-ups.

InnoTech founder Jennifer Arcuri said Google Hangouts is becoming an increasingly popular tool with politicians, with US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and South African President Jacob Zuma, all quick to embrace it.

“A Google Hangout is ideal for raising the profile of different issues. What better way could there be for Boris to promote the UK digital economy with tech-minded investors from Silicon Valley, the original tech hub?” she said.

Johnson will discuss current initiatives designed to attract overseas investment and contribute to a debate around what actions are needed to help cultivate a better environment for UK start-ups to achieve scale.

“London offers obvious alignment potential for Silicon Valley – after all, the Internet economy represents 8.4 per cent of UK GDP, which constitutes a bigger share than for any of the G20 major countries, including the USA, and it’s forecast to grow to 12.6 per cent by 2016. There’s a lot of potential here for US tech companies, and we want to make sure they expand to London and other tech hubs in the UK,” said Gillard.

The hangout will be streamed live on Innotechsummit's website.

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