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Former Dragon: creative sector more important than Tech City

Doug Richard, a government advisor, setting up angel investment network to help creative start-ups

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Doug Richard, a government adviser and former Dragons’ Den star, has launched a harsh attack on the government-backed tech community developing in the East End of London, dubbed Tech City, claiming that the creative sector is being ‘neglected’.

Richard is planning to launch an angel investment network to address the issue, which will provide both debt and equity to creative businesses that have been through his School for Creative Start-ups, an initiative that provides subsidised training for innovative entrepreneurs.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Richard stated that “creative start-ups have been profoundly underserved by [early-stage investors]” because of a “huge preoccupation in this country” with technology start-ups.

He said: “We have Tech City, it’s fine, but London is a creative centre – why shamelessly ape Silicon Valley when we are the Silicon Valley of the creative industries?”

In November 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to create a technology hub in East London, centred on the Old Street roundabout and Shoreditch areas of the capital.

In other news, it has been revealed this week that Eric van der Kleij will step down as chief executive of the UK’s Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO) when his two year contract comes to an end this summer.

TCIO is a subsidiary of the UK Trade and Investment department and was launched in March 2011 to attract new companies and investors to the Tech City area.



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