London Olympics venue to be transformed into start-up incubator

The London Olympics are set to provide a direct spur to start-ups, with the press and broadcast centre for the Games set to become an incubator for new businesses once all of the medals have been awarded.


The London Legacy Development Corporation has chosen joint venture iCITY as the preferred bidder for the 350 million investment to create a “world-class centre of innovation and enterprise” in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


The move is expected to create more than 6,500 jobs and nurture leading digital and creative start-ups from the UK and beyond.


iCITY is to include a data centre, media studios, a university, a digital academy, restaurant and cafes, as well as the new business incubator.


It’s hoped that the start-up hub will help provide some much-needed impetus to the UK economy, which contracted by 0.7% in the last quarter, according to figures out this week.


The continuing recession in the UK may be off-putting to Australian start-ups looking for overseas opportunities, but London has gradually built its credentials as a major tech hub in recent years, developing what is known as ‘Silicon Roundabout’ for ventures in the Shoreditch district.


Gavin Poole, CEO of iCITY, said: “This is a unique opportunity to cement Britain’s position as a global leader in innovation and the creative industries.”


“iCITY will provide a sustainable legacy for the local community through the creation of thousands of jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities.”


“The incredible track record of start-ups and entrepreneurs in East London is growing at an impressive rate, and this is a chance to provide additional connectivity, capacity, investment and highly advanced infrastructure.”


“I am hugely excited that work can now begin on turning that vision into a reality.”


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