TechCrunch Disrupt brings the buzz of Silicon Valley to the UK. The tech event comes to London for the first time, lured by generous piles of investor cash the UK capital and Europe have to offer. Sara Hemrajani reports.
A slice of Silicon Valley in the heart of London. The annual TechCrunch Disrupt conference has made its way to the British capital for the first time. Its chief operating officer says the city is too important to ignore. SOUNDBITE: Ned Desmond, Chief Operating Officer, TechCrunch, saying (English): "TechCrunch needs to be wherever there are important start-up ecosystems underway, and London is certainly one of the most important in the world." The two-day event brings hundreds of tech companies and investors together, in a bid to match ideas and hard cash. Some of the products vying for attention include robots, apps, new cloud services and multi-purpose phone cases. SOUNDBITE: James Griffith, Co-Founder, Mous, saying (English): "Basically we got tired of people losing their headphones, us losing our headphones, so we created Mous, which is a headphone case which actually holds your headphones. So no more lost headphones." California may be home to Facebook, Google and other tech titans, but many developers here say the UK and Europe have plenty to offer. Despite the weak eurozone economy, European start-ups raised more than 2.5 billion dollars in the second quarter of this year. SOUNDBITE: Piotr Pawlak, Founder, Kinetise, saying (English): "Definitely there is more money in the investment tank at the moment because people have made a lot of money recently on other tech ventures and they are reinvesting it, which is very good." SOUNDBITE: Christoph F. Gamon, Co-Founder, ConCloud, saying (English): "Some of us are still students, so we're just coming up and are very young. I think we're finding more investors now that are looking into these more younger and inexperienced companies as well. So for us it's really important that it's growing and that there's more money coming into Europe." London's tech firms on their own attracted a record one billion dollars of venture capital investment between January and September. TechCrunch's Mike Butcher. SOUNDBITE: Mike Butcher, Editor-at-Large, TechCrunch, saying (English): "London is brilliantly positioned to work either alongside or even possibly to compete with big sectors, such as fashion, technology, financial technology, music, media, advertising. And these big niches are all represented at a wide range here in London." With venture capitalists betting that the London and European start-up scene can keep innovating, these geeks and gadgets could herald a homegrown dot-com boom.