A large group of high-profile business executives, venture capitalists and angel investors convened on Thursday morning to discuss how they would help give London's start-ups a financial boost.
The group of 150 start-up experts and investors will call themselves the Tech London Advocates (TLA) and have signed up to a manifesto that pledges to promote London as a technology hub.
Russ Shaw (pictured below), a London angel investor who has previously worked as the innovation director for Telefonica and as a Skype vice president, formally launched the TLA.
In a V3 interview, Shaw told of how he hoped to make the investment scene around London's start-ups more open and transparent.
"The idea of the TLA is to bring together the private sector and various people across the tech ecosystem, whether they be large corporates, banks, media, start-up founders or investors, to start to speak with one voice about how they will promote the tech sector," said Shaw.
"I also want the TLA to discuss the challenges that lie ahead for London's start-ups."
He also said he hoped to import ideas from the US to the capital to its start-up culture.
"I think London can learn a lot from what happens in the US, where a start-up will approach a busy venture capitalist (VC), who will give 20 minutes of their time to hear the pitch. If the pitch isn't right for the VC, they will then introduce the start-up to other investors," he explained.
"We need to achieve something similar in the UK market where we get a network together to help each other, not only the start-ups but ensure the right talent is going to the right business."
Shaw, who is also a member of the government's Tech City Advisory Group, said he believed the private sector needs to try and match the government's positive action to promote the start-up sector.
"We have great angel investors for early stage start-ups. Some of these start-ups will fail but others will reach the next stage of growth. That's where the current challenge is in London. We need people with the right talent who can help run these start-ups and the investment to ensure growth is possible," said Shaw.
"So the TLA will bring together investors, but we will also target the large corporates that have deeper pockets who can strategically invest in later stage UK start-ups, just like Telfonica and Google have done."
Among those attending the TLA launch include some of London's biggest venture capital firms, like Index Ventures and Ariadne Capital, as well as high-profile angel investors, such as Kevin Eyres, who was the former European managing director of LinkedIn.
Representatives from Telefonica's start-up accelerator programme Wayra were also present, as were members of the European start-up funding programme Seedcamp and the previous chief executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation, Eric Van der Kleij, who is currently running Level39 - the accelerator programme for FinTech start-ups.
Those attending the TLA launch were given starter-kits, with details of how to become an active advocate of the cause. Shaw said the TLA would further seek to expand its membership this autumn.
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