Silicon Roundabout: London's Startup Hub

February 12, 2019 | Ella Hendrix

Welcome to Women of Silicon Roundabout

Here’s Everything You Need to Know about London's Silicon Roundabout.

Also known as East London Tech City, Silicon Roundabout is an area in the UK where tech and digital companies are highly concentrated. Located between Old Street and Shoreditch, specifically St. Luke’s and Hackney Road, the name takes inspiration from Old Street Roundabout and California’s Silicon Valley tech hub.

East London Tech City is host to Women of Silicon Roundabout, taking place 25th - 26th June 2019 at ExCel London. Click below to request a brochure.


The Growth of the Silicon Roundabout

Low rental costs, in comparison to other parts of the city, initially drew tech businesses to this particular area of East London. Combining the kudos of a London address with decent access to the capital’s infrastructure, these startups were setting themselves up for success.

The UK government identified this as a prime growth area and provided support to foster further development and attract more new businesses to the location. Under David Cameron’s leadership, Tech City UK was formed to support and promote tech companies in the neighbourhood. The development was also assisted by support from some of the city’s top educational institutions like Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London, and London Metropolitan University.

Silicon Roundabout Women

Occupants of Silicon Roundabout 

True to its name, the main industry of this area is technology. The name emulates its American counterpart’s title, derived from the high concentration of tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area that were using silicon chips as the basis for many of their products. Organic growth brought the two locations together as tech-based businesses are among the most common in the UK. 

Knowledge of the area grew quickly and East London Tech City began to attract larger, more established tech companies. The hub became home to tech giants like Google, Facebook, Cisco, and Intel, although some have since moved to bigger premises in and outside of London. In 2017, it was estimated that Silicon Roundabout was the location with the third largest number of tech startups in the world, after San Francisco and New York.

Welcome To Silicon Roundabout

Why Locate Your Startup in Silicon Roundabout?  

Although it was inevitable that the rush of tech businesses to the area would slow, Silicon Roundabout continues to offer many advantages to fledgling businesses. The boom years produced a stable and modern infrastructure, including excellent transport links. Old Street Station is located in Zone 1 and connected via both the Northern Line and National Rail’s Northern City Line. It is also a stop on many major bus routes and close to the A501 towards Central London and the main roads A10 and A11.

Another attraction for startups to Silicon Roundabout is the advantage of being surrounded by like-minded communities. Although there are some big names in the area, the focus is still on supporting new businesses. With many startups looking for office space in Shoreditch, the development area has expanded north beyond Old Street Roundabout into the N1 postcode area. According to figures from accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, the number of new businesses formed in the N1 jumped from 8,400 in 2015 to 14,710 in 2016. Compare this to the EC1V postcode, which saw 3,070 new businesses in 2016, a reduction from 10,280 in 2015, and it is evident that East London Tech City’s influence is expanding. Silicon Roundabout, therefore, continues to engender success for new businesses in London.  

Ella Hendrix is a versatile freelancer writer, currently covering articles on new business trends, young entrepreneurship and workplace matters. 

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Drive Your Digital Economy 

Women of Silicon Roundabout returns to ExCel London 25th - 26th June 2019. Join over 6,000 tech leaders and professionals at the UK’s vibrant centrepiece for women in tech – learn from the best speakers in the industry, enhance your entire skills portfolio and celebrate gender diversity in the world's fastest growing industry.