The Kernel has summarised the key points in Tech City’s first annual Impact Report.
The Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO) has released its first Impact Report, detailing what the organisation has achieved in the past year. What are the main findings of the report?
Of its £2.1 million publicly-funded budget, TCIO spent nearly £1.3 million – or 61 per cent – on frontline staff and administration. Of the remaining amount, £530,000 was spent on events and sponsorship and £290,000 on marketing.
TCIO says it was established with three main objectives: to assist in securing foreign direct investment, to engage with overseas VCs and help them to set up or start evaluating deal-flow in Tech City, and to support the “cluster” and raise its profile abroad.
Has TCIO met its three objectives? The Impact Report evaluates the organisation’s work:
For its role of assisting to secure foreign direct investment – that is, to help a company set up operations in Tech City – TCIO has recorded 37 “wins”.
This has been calculated by verifying that their decision to invest was supported by TCIO’s work, as well as asking how many projected jobs they will create and what their expected capital expenditure will be. Of the 37 companies, TCIO “directly assisted” 26 companies, meeting its 26-company target exactly.
The report says that TCIO has exceeded its own expectations in terms of engagement. The organisation’s objective had been to formally engage with 15 overseas VCs and help three to begin evaluating deal flow in Tech City.
TCIO says it has built relationships with 29 US VCs and angel investors, including firms such as Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins: “This engagement enabled us to brief them on the developing ecosystem in Tech City and the wealth of talented entrepreneurs and great start-ups in the cluster.”
There is no word on how many have started to evaluate deal flow, though TCIO admits that “there’s more work to do”.
For its third performance indicator, supporting the cluster and raising Tech City’s profile, TCIO gives details of its events, mentoring programme and international work.
TCIO has spent £530,000 on more than 30 events in the last year. “These events have so far resulted in at least five companies moving to the area,” says the report.
Its mentoring programme, led by ex-LinkedIn UK managing director Kevin Eyres, has signed up more than 40 mentors to take part in speed-mentoring events. Although it had an aim of matching five mentors with Tech City companies, the report says that only three have continued their relationship with Tech City companies as a result of its speed-mentoring events.
Finally, under its “international visits” section, TCIO reports that more than 150 senior executives have been shown around Tech City in the past 12 months.
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Turning towards the next 12 months, the report confirms that TCIO’s budget will remain £2.1 million.
With this funding, the organisation has set itself the following objectives: to attract and assist 50 international companies to set up in Tech City; to facilitate 50 specific investor pitches and attract three overseas investors to establish investment facilities in Tech City; to engage with 50 new international VCs to promote Tech City and help 25 companies expand internationally; and to continue to promote Tech City in the media.
There is a lot which has been omitted from the report which we would have liked to have seen. A more comprehensive breakdown of the organisation’s budget would have been useful. Without knowing more information, it is difficult to evaluate whether spending £1.3 million of its budget on staff is cost-effective, or whether spending £530,000 on events which have resulted in five companies moving to Tech City is good value for money for the taxpayer.
Browse The Kernel’s full coverage of Tech City’s first impact report.