Silicon Roundabout is the tech nickname for an area of London that is home to many of the UK’s Internet companies. The particular roundabout is where Old Street meets City Road in EC2, though most of the companies are spread out in the Shoreditch area (for those that aren’t from London and don’t speak in postcodes).
Companies of Silicon Roundabout
Alongside this slightly out of date list of London start-ups nearby is also the HQ of White Bear Yard, the investment house behind Flattr, GoSquared and previously of Last.fm. For a good list of current Silicon Roundabout Start-ups or to be part of the scene yourself head to this meetup group, which though claims it started next December is growing incredibly fast.
The term was first coined by @mattb in 2009, then an employee of local start-up dopplr.com. Though obviously a play on California’s Silicon Valley and New York’s Silicon Alley, there is something sneakily derogatory about ‘Silicon Roundabout’. Britain’s Internet industry is less apparant. Not only that, the whole scene is start-ups and a successful venture is considered one to have exited – or sold in layman’s terms, and in a typically British fashion that means selling to a corporation outside the UK such as Nokia (Dopplr), Ebay (Skype) or CBS (last.fm).
I shouldn’t let my pessimism hamper the efforts of those involved in the British tech industry. Silicon Roundabout is growing and the Government recently pledged millions into start-up funds, grants or whatever it is they do to help Internet companies grow in the Shoreditch area. Though this is ignorant of the fact the UK is a bigger country and there are successful British websites outside London. Oops, there I go again…