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Leading tech figures hail London Technology Week a success

London’s first technology week has been hailed a huge success by leading technology entrepreneurs. Initial estimates from London Technology Week organisers suggest that there were close to 40,000 attendees at events throughout the week, coming from countries around the world including the USA, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and South Africa to attend events across the city.

London Technology Week comprised more than 200 independently run events with keynote speakers such as Chairman of Sequoia Capital, Sir Michael Moritz; Michael Birch, co-founder of Bebo; Simon Breakwell, co-founder of Expedia; and Brent Hoberman, co-founder of PRO Founders Capital.

Speaking about the week’s success, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said: “London Technology Week has exceeded all expectations and provided us with the opportunity to fly the flag for a tech sector that is rapidly becoming a world leader and providing billions of pounds of investment and thousands of new jobs in our great city. We want to see the sector continue to thrive and the hundreds of events that took place this week have helped London position itself as a true leader of the global tech scene.”

Russ Shaw, Founder of Tech London Advocates, said: “London Technology Week has surpassed expectations not only in terms of attendees but also the unprecedented platform it has given our capital’s burgeoning tech sector and pioneering tech companies. This has been a celebration of growth and an opportunity to focus on the work that still needs to be done. The events and enthusiasm displayed across the week have clearly demonstrated that far from becoming complacent about London's position on the global tech stage, countless individuals and organisations are consolidating success, tackling the remaining obstacles and cementing our position as a world capital for technology.”

Simon Breakwell, co-founder of Expedia and partner at the venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures said: “London has developed considerably over the last ten years. It’s now a truly global capital. There’s excellent access to finance, great people with useful skills live and work around London, and there’s a thriving ecosystem of tech companies choosing to base their operations here. London Technology Week is recognition of all these things coming together to make this city a really interesting place for tech companies.”

Julia Hartz, President and Co-founder of the marketplace for events, Eventbrite said: "We came to London back in 2011 because of the wealth of live experiences happening in this city as well as the vibrant tech scene and amazing talent. Those elements are as important as ever and being part of London Technology Week has really emphasised that London has all of those things in abundance."

The success of London’s first Technology Week comes as new data from the world’s largest professional network LinkedIn – released to coincide with the final day of London Technology Week – cites London as the European capital for tech talent, with the highest number of people working in technology jobs across the region. According to LinkedIn, London saw the largest inflow of tech talent with nearly 4,000 skilled technology professionals coming to the city in 2013 – more than 3 times the number of its nearest competitor, Paris which attracted 1,200.

The growth in technology jobs in London is being driven by both large and small companies. LinkedIn data shows that 27 per cent of technology professionals in London are employed by firms with fewer than 200 employees, while 34 per cent of tech jobs are with more than 10,000 employees.

David Cohen, Head of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn EMEA, said: “Despite fierce competition, London is clearly a hot destination for those looking to progress their career in the technology sector. As the city continues to make its mark as a hub for tech talent, competition has intensified and it will be interesting to see how companies, big and small, battle it out to attract the best.”

London Technology Week has also been a successful platform for London-based start-ups to network and demonstrate their products. Some of those that have taken part in the week include cross-Atlantic peer to business lender, cleaning-on-demand service which recently secured £3.5 million ($6 million) of ‘Series A’ funding, and FashTech business Kovert Designs who create ‘smart’ designer tech jewellery.

Philip Steele, founder of the London-based start-up ncube, a next generation smart home device said: “I built my first prototype as a teenager using an old tape deck motor, a ruler, a micro switch, a couple of springs and a bent bottle top. We launched the fully fledged product last November. London Technology Week has been a great platform for us. We’ve had some great feedback on our tech and made valuable contacts that will allow us to take ncube to retailers, property developers and housing associations.”

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