‘Organic’ and ‘technology’ are words you rarely hear used together, but when charting the ascent of London’s tech sector, the two go hand in hand. While household names like 3M, London Life and Labatt’s are some of the most recognized contributors to the local economy, homegrown tech-based success stories are leading the next wave of growth.
“London’s tech sector has become one of the leading economic drivers in this city, and the overwhelming majority of that success has come organically, through local entrepreneurs starting businesses here,” says Marilyn Sinclair, President & CEO of TechAlliance, the Regional Innovation Centre for London. “As we move further into the information economy, we expect to see the launch of hundreds of new startups and thousands of new jobs created in London.”
Digital Extremes have been making videogames for nearly 25 years, weathering many industry changes. “To be successful in this industry still boils down to making great games,” says Mike Schmalz, President. The company moved to London in the late 1990s growing from about 20 staff to more than 270 today. “In the past 15 years, London’s tech industry has seen explosive growth. Digital Extremes has been happy to be a part of that growth,” says Schmalz. “I believe London is now viewed as a game development hub in Canada. We have London game companies founded by ex-Digital Extremes employees that are starting to make their presence known in the industry.”
“Voices.com is often referred to as an overnight success story, but the reality is that we’ve been growing slowly and surely for the past decade,” says David Ciccarelli, CEO and Co-Founder of Voices.com, the global marketplace for voice-over talent. “We built our business plan around being mobile and expanding globally, and experienced immense growth in both those areas. What started out as a husband and wife working out of an apartment,
and then out of an accelerator space with the support and guidance of TechAlliance became a local company competing on a global scale. Today, we have almost 100 employees, over 400,000 registered users, and have done business in more than 139 countries.”
For decades, Trudell Medical International has developed and manufactured medical devices in London. “Our best-in-class respiratory management products have been sold in over 110 countries, their efficacy being validated in numerous peer-reviewed publications,” says Dr. Jason Suggett, Group Director, Science and Technology. “We are proud of our association with the thriving scientific community of London and have collaborated with both Western University and Robarts in recent clinical studies. Having ready access to patients, clinicians and academia, in addition to numerous technology companies, makes London an ideal location to be based.”
ZTR Control Systems, a global leader in locomotive automation and remote equipment monitoring, continues to see significant year over year growth. The ZTR workforce has grown by over 20% in new employee hires over the past twelve months, and has nearly doubled in team size over the past four years. “As a global leader in our markets, we are optimistic about our future in London. We appreciate motivated organizations like TechAlliance who are champions for companies like ZTR, and that help make London a destination for innovators and disruptors,” says ZTR Vice President and General Manager, Industrial IoT, Michael Tidy.
“The focus on organic growth in our sector is positively affecting the attraction and retention of great talent for London,” says Sinclair. “With a supportive entrepreneurial culture, a wide range of career opportunities, the quality of life, and the lower cost of living, the future of our technology sector looks very bright.”