Tuesday, March 08, 2011

London is a magnet for talent -update

London collage.Image via Wikipedia
March 16th: UK Government introduces new visa rules ..... http://goo.gl/rKfOc

At a recent meeting at Fizzback, I became aware of the large number of non-Brits on the team. They may be an exception because after all they do a fair amount of semantic analysis using natural language processing in half a dozen languages but 38 out of a total of 66 Fizbackers were born outside of the UK. 
That's 58%.

The non-UK nationalities represented are:


That's pretty impressive - don't you think?

Looking around the London office of Index, there are only 6 British born - out of a total complement of 18.

At a time when Governments around the world are pushing for enterprise, start-ups, small businesses and technology to lead their economies back to health, its more important than ever that talented people who want to participate in a country's economy are encouraged and allowed to come.

Organisations like Seedcamp and SeedSummit have been lobbying the UK Government to make non-EU Visas easier to obtain to allow this very phenomenon to flourish. This is important and I hope that the strong words that the PM is using about enterprise and growth extends to ensuring that talent wanting to come to the UK will find it easy to do so.
[update, 16th March 2011 ...

Government 'rolls out the red carpet' for entrepreneurs and investors ...http://goo.gl/rKfOc ]

Just this past week, Techcunch ran a story entitled "Why Silicon Valley Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are Returning Home"

London clearly has some extra-ordinary pulling power despite the weather (which by comparison with many places is not that bad anyway)....and is producing some super companies. Saul wrote an interesting piece on this a couple of months ago.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron said yesterday: "Where there has been an aversion to risk, there needs to be boldness.
"I'm telling you today that your job under this government is not to frustrate local people and local ideas, it is to enable them."
If the Government can follow through on this rhetoric and continue to foster and develop an enterprise culture, there is no reason why London will not continue to be the startup capital of Europe.

If you have some stats on % of non-Brits in your London based startup, let me know.
Perhaps someone needs to pull together a comprehensive data set.

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:24 am

    I think you're very much right on this. I find the diversity of the London startup community far more than Silicon Valley and New York.

    My firm, OpenGamma, was founded by an American, a Canadian, and a Brit. The three of us have been joined by employees from Nigeria, Finland, Norway, Belgium, and Greece. In our London-based HQ (where all R&D is done) we're only 50% British born.