The Financing of Digital London

Following the recent publication of Ian Dowson’s report ‘Deep Knowledge is Powering Another Regeneration of London’, an in-depth investigation into the current state of the ecosystem of digital industries within the London (Tech City especially),this is No.5 (No.4 here) in a series of articles by the report’s author to aid understanding and stimulate insight as to how all stakeholders can create value from this evolving cluster of technology businesses and technology-enabled creative industries businesses. The remaining 2 posts in the series will look at Eco System & Sustainability and Conclusions.

The financing of Digital London is the driver of its economic activity as without finance there would at best be maybe only maybe a small handful of under-financed micro businesses. The UK has historically suffered from a chronic and structural deficiency of finance for start-ups and SME’s. Even in the 1930’s the Macmillan report stated that “the City has better facilities for capital to foreign companies than to British Industry…” Has anything changed?

Certainly the momentum of London start-up finance has gained considerable pace in the last couple of years; the UK Government has implemented a series of schemes and incentives to stimulate investment and an angel investment community has come of age. Agencies such as the TSB and Nesta make a great contribution to fostering innovation and company formation.

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