Take more than 1,000 potentially lucrative start-up companies. Offer an equity investment of £1m to the winner. Sit back and watch the sparks fly.
Digital Shoreditch has teamed up with an eclectic mix of accelerators, seed investors, VCs and angels to organise the “Million Pound Startup Challenge”, a competition to see if East London’s Tech City has the talent to compete on the global stage.
72 countries. 304 cities. 1047 start ups. The idea is to find companies that can present a potential billion-pound flotation in the future, or attract big name attention for an ‘exit’ opportunity. The ‘entrepreneurial ecosystem’ is still developing in the UK, and the aim is to build companies at a grass roots level that will become investors themselves further down the line.
There is no doubt that Tech City has experienced impressive growth since its conception back in 2008, but for development to continue, it’s crucial reinvestment is encouraged on the domestic level. Recent success stories like London-based King, who have filed for a confidential IPO in the United States, could signal the potential for reinvestment into the East London start up scene.
Technology companies have been scrambling to the global stock markets since the successes of social networking giants Facebook and (soon to be) Twitter. The hope is that the ‘Million Pound Startup Challenge’ will help to discover one or more companies that have this potential, and help to bring capital back to entrepreneurs in the co-working spaces of East London.
Tech City has already had its fair share of successes. Moo, a digital printing company, have been one of the tech cluster’s sweethearts, growing significantly in recent years. Online gamers Mind Candy have also been touted as a future Shoreditch success. Time will tell as to whether any of Tech City’s current crop has what it takes to take on the household names produced in established hub like Silicon Valley, but the green shoots are there.
The Million Pound Startup Challenge has now closed for applications, and the hard work is set to begin for thousands of budding entrepreneurs to become the next Mark Zuckerberg.
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