5 startup lessons learned when Silicon Valley came to London
Two days ago, 800 people assembled at a south London art college for Silicon Valley Comes To Tech City, an event which saw experienced entrepreneurs and investors from America’s tech mecca engage in an afternoon of fast-paced panels and interview sessions with the aim of inspiring the UK’s next generation of startup founders.
The event is part of a wider initiative, Silicon Valley Comes To The UK, organized by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and angel investor Sherry Coutu. Once a year, speakers from Silicon Valley are invited to the UK to talk to students, the government and entrepreneurs about how to produce bigger, better tech companies.
Inspired by a similar event at Oxford University, Hoffman and Coutu’s philanthropic endeavour has gradually spread nationwide from its beginnings in Cambridge. In the past four days, Coutu said that 20,000 people have attended related events – either as part of the main program or at spin-offs held at universities across the country.
With London’s TechCity zone, a loosely defined area receiving government support and investment as a hub for the technology industry, gaining traction as a concept, it was little surprise to see Silicon Valley Comes To The UK hold a dedicated event for the area.
With four strands taking place simultaneously, it was impossible to see everything, but some common themes emerged throughout the talks we attended, with advice for both entrepreneurs and the UK as a whole.