Tech City Investment Organisation appoints Benjamin Southworth as Deputy CEO
London, 24 June 2012 - TCIO is pleased to announce the appointment of Benjamin Southworth as Deputy CEO.
The new role will focus on helping develop existing and new events for the Tech City cluster and ensuring that the community’s views are communicated to policy-makers in Government and City Hall.
Benjamin has previously worked with a number of tech start-ups and was one of the founders and organisers of Digital Sizzle, Don’t Pitch Me Bro and Silicon Drinkabout events in East London.
This role has been created in direct response to community feedback received at the publication of the TCIO Impact Report, asking for more community events and more opportunity to feedback to policy-makers. TCIO’s activity is informed by feedback from entrepreneurs, businesses and investors already in Tech City and those who want to move here. The role is funded out of the existing TCIO budget. TCIO is also currently recruiting for a new CEO to replace Eric van der Kleij who will step down from the role later this year.
Benjamin Southworth, Deputy CEO of TCIO, said: “East London is a very exciting place right now: we’re seeing an influx of talented developers, designers and business people of all ages and nationalities coming together in one place. This is creating more and more exciting products, businesses, investments and opportunities across the board. I am looking forward to joining TCIO and feeding back the thoughts of the startup community to policy-makers within the Government. It’s fantastic that we have such strong support from the Government for what we’re achieving here and I hope that we can, as a community, make the best use of that for the continued success of both the cluster and the UK.“
Eric van der Kleij, CEO of TCIO, said: “I’m delighted that Ben is joining TCIO. His experience working with tech and digital start-ups coupled with his knowledge and understanding of the Tech City community means he can play a valuable role in shaping and delivering our activity to support the growth of the cluster.”
Ben joins TCIO next week.
Notes to Editors
About Benjamin Southworth
Benjamin was previously freelancing with the tech community, working on a variety of projects from technical advice to front-end development. He has worked a variety of positions with in numerous startups in London, Cambridge, and Denver, USA. During the last 12 months, he was one the founders and organisers of Digital Sizzle, Don’t Pitch Me Bro, and Silicon Drinkabout which aim to connect startups to each other and to further cement the exciting community that is developing within London.
The Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO) was set up by UKTI in April 2011 to support the growth of the tech cluster in East London, helping to make it Europe’s centre of innovation and the location of choice for tech and digital companies and investors. Our objectives are to: assist in securing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Tech City; engage with overseas VCs and help them to set up or start evaluating deal-flow in Tech City; and support the cluster, and raise its profile internationally.
In November 2010, the Prime Minister set out the Government’s ambition to help East London become one of the world’s great technology centres. Government is helping in two ways:
- firstly, by ensuring that national policy promotes enterprise and growth. The Entrepreneur Visa, Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and opening up Government procurement are three examples of action central Government has taken in direct response to concerns expressed by Tech City companies about access to talent and finance. No 10 is responsible for driving national policy; and
- secondly, by attracting inward investment, and supporting companies in the cluster who want to expand into international markets. TCIO was set up to do this.
Venture-backed, high-potential companies like Airbnb and Yammer have landed in Tech City as a result of our support, and we have worked to secure investment from leading international technology firms including Cisco, and Intel. World-leading academic institutions like UCL and Imperial College, London are also setting up here. Alongside the start-ups and small businesses like Songkick, EDITD and Lightbox, are leading international tech companies such as Google. A well-established network of incubators like Seedcamp and White Bear Yard provide early stage funding and support, and top international investors including Accel and Index are also here.