Global Clusters of Innovation
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Global Clusters of Innovation

Entrepreneurial Engines of Economic Growth around the World

Edited by Jerome S. Engel

In the geography of the global economy, there are known ‘hot spots’ where new technologies germinate at an astounding rate and pools of capital, expertise and talent foster the development of new industries and new ways of doing business. These clusters of innovation are significant drivers of value creation and function as models for economic expansion in both developed and developing countries. This book explores the key attributes of these innovation hubs using case studies from around the world.
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Chapter 6: United Kingdom: London’s tech startup boom

Itxaso del-Palacio and Dave Chapman


London has the fifth largest city economy in the world and the largest city GDP in Europe, with an estimated GDP of 731.2 billion USD in 2012 (Istrate and Nadeau, 2012). In recent years, London has become the most successful startup ecosystem in Europe, producing the largest output of startups in the European Union (Startup Genome, 2012) and first choice location for fast growing US startups to establish their European headquarters. In this chapter, we use the Global Network of Clusters of Innovation Framework (Engel and del-Palacio, 2009) to analyze the entrepreneurial ecosystem in London. First, we provide historical context for London’s economic strength. Next, we describe the current entrepreneurial scene in London and analyze the elements of its ecosystem that are characteristic of a COI (Engel and del-Palacio, 2009). In Section 6.4, we describe the role played by the university within the ecosystem, and discuss its contribution to the wider startup community in London. Three examples presented in the next section illustrate the opportunities and difficulties faced by entrepreneurs in London. Based on this analysis, in the following section we identify several limitations and areas that need to be developed in order to build a globally connected COI. Section 6.7 discusses ways in which the government, big corporates and universities could contribute to mitigate these limitations and to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In conclusion, we suggest some areas of work that could contribute to the creation of a globally connected COI.

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