For decades, London’s economy was built on a foundation of large-scale employers employing thousands in insurance, manufacturing, and other traditional industries. As the city’s economy has evolved to embrace changing global trends, the balance has shifted dramatically, with the city’s present and future economy now built on smaller, more entrepreneur-driven businesses that span every industry.
“One of the strengths of London’s tech sector is our diversity, with globally- competitive businesses in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, software development and more,” says Greg Picken, Communications Manager for TechAlliance, the Regional Innovation Centre for London and the surrounding area. “These businesses are accomplishing great things and creating jobs in London in large part because of their local roots, led by entrepreneurs who are passionate not just about succeeding, but succeeding in London.”
Nowhere is that more apparent than in the city’s digital creative sector. Home to more than 300 companies, employing more than 9,000 people, the sector is the fastest-growing in London, with startups and larger ventures creating software, apps and games that are used around the world.
From North America’s largest voice acting marketplace,Voices.com, to the one-time fastest growing website on the internet, Diply, London’s entrepreneurs have been making a name for themselves well beyond the Forest City. They are certainly not alone, as city’s digital footprint includes RaceRoster, makers of custom race registration software who were ranked on Deloitte’s 2017 Companies-to-Watch list, Tripsi, a startup making travel planning easier for large groups, and many more.
London is also a hot bed for video games, ranking among the top cities in Canada for game development jobs.Top independent studios Digital Extremes, known for their Warframe multiplayer title, and Big Blue Bubble, creators of My Singing Monsters and member of Deloitte’s 2017 Technology Fast 50, call the city home, as well as a number of smaller studios and creations. Newcomers like Vitruvius VR are making a big impact too – developing one of the earliest games available for the new virtual reality headset PlayStation VR, while MikuTech are creating cutting-edge Augmented Reality experiences.
“What’s exciting to watch for going forward is how our digital innovators will collide with other industries, including the ‘internet of things’ and the life sciences.” says Picken. “Today’s entrepreneurs, and the people they inspire, will be creating new opportunities for growth within other markets, and London is well positioned to capitalize on those possibilities”
Read the full Perspective London 2018 Globe & Mail feature here.