Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull looks in at London Met Uni’s hi-tech Accelerator
PUBLISHED: 10:21 15 May 2014
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Australia’s Communications Minister has been on a fact-finding tour of Tech City to learn secrets of success about London Metropolitan University’s hi-tech business Accelerator project.
Malcolm Turnbull looked in at the Accelerator’s headquarters in Shoreditch to find out from industry leaders about the development of the Old Street start-up community and what Australia can learn from it.
He said afterwards: “I was impressed by the importance of political leadership given by David Cameron, who made a public commitment in 2010 to support east London ‘Silicon Roundabout’ as a centre of technology, and also by the way London Met is incorporating innovation into its curriculum.”
He was shown round the Accelerator by its manager Richard Celm, who ran businesses in Australia and the USA before moving to London in 2006.
Mr Celm explained how the project was giving start-up training to 1,000 students every year with digital entrepreneurs wanting to be part of the fast-paced ‘Silicon Roundabout’ and how that expertise “can be transferred Down Under”.
Business leaders meeting the Australian minister included Sarah Wood, co-founder of City Unrulyversity pop-up university, set up to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs which runs free sessions every Wednesday at its HQ in Brick Lane. She told the Minister about “the importance of education” and the role played by universities meeting the challenges facing start-up companies.
“It was interesting to hear how the Australian start-up scene is developing,” she said. “It’s unusual to have such openness and exchanging ideas across territories.”
London Met Vice-Chancellor Malcolm Gillies explained how the start-up community in Shoreditch was rapidly expanding, with increasing number of students going through the university’s Accelerator programme which gave them training and mentoring to “make an impact on the economy”.