London's 'hard-core' startups are booming says research

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Tech City, East London’s go-to-region for digital and creative companies, is one of the fastest growing tech and digital clusters in the world, according to UK government figures. Today the area hosts more than 600 tech startups. In 2008 TechCrunch Europe noted that number was around 16. So today TechHub, the co-working space for tech entrepreneurs on Old Street, teamed up with company information startup Duedil to release deeper research into London’s startup scene and identified what they call “hard-core tech startups”. These are defined as companies less than 10 years old that are “product focused” or data/development driven. With this definition they boiled down the number to 200 hard-core startups in London. It’s likely that the true figure is somewhere between the government figure and this one – at any rare it’s clear London’s East End is once more an engine of creativity, as it has been for some time.

The data derived from the research – see infographic below – shows that the scene has proven impressively recession-proof. The boom began in 2007 and continued straight through 2009 and 2010 without a sign of uncertainty from new founders. The majority of new companies was founded in the ”Silicon Roundabout” area of Clearkenwell to Shoreditch and East across London. The same area is responsible for 76% of all growth across Central London in the past year. East London postcode EC1 is definitely still the epicentre of startups in London.

Interesting are also the demographics. Of the 920 associated real tech startup directors only 1 in 10 are female. 3 out of 10 are running their first company.

The most influential venture capital firms in London were identified as Index Ventures, Passion Capital, and The Accelerator Group.

This is the first review of the startup scene TechHub and Duedil have released and they claim that some startups were not included for a lack of information. In this sense the survey should give us a decent overview of the current startup situation in London, but it’s not something definite. Duedil are calling for companies to add their information and make the startup map complete.

(In the interests of disclosure TechCrunch Europe editor Mike Butcher is a co-founder of TechHub, which commissioned the research from Duedil).