London may have a few answers that you can replicate in your destination.
When I attended the SXSWi (South by Southwest Interactive) tech conference in March, I picked up a trade show brochure from the office of the Mayor of London; the British have a big presence at “South by.” The brochure is called Innovation Future: The East London Connection and it talks about the growth of London’s Shoreditch area as a UK tech hub.
According to the writeup, here are the elements that keep this part of the city hopping….
“The attractions of East London for start-up technology companies, eager to become the next Google or Facebook, are numerous. It is relatively affordable; accessible; and incredibly vibrant and culturally diverse, with plenty of quirky bars and restaurants and an exciting and dynamic arts and culture scene. A strong feeling of community pervades, attracting creative entrepreneurs who thrive on networking, exchanging ideas and forging collaborative relationships.”
There’s nothing in there about needing people with lots of money.
There’s nothing in there about fancy buildings or much of anything swanky.
I see a lot about an environment where the joy of creating is encouraged, and that doesn’t cost money; it “costs” determination and imagination among a variety of citizens in a community, like those at the Shoreditch/Old St. TechHub.
Even small towns can encourage the entrepreneurial and tech spirit, and even one guy in Kansas can support the arts.
What can you do this week to bring some East London to YOUR town?
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