Technology has not featured heavily in the manifestos of any of the main political parties, however it is no coincidence that the two most senior figures in government held this conference among 200 ambitious tech businesses driving innovation at the heart of Canary Wharf.
More so than any recent General Election campaign, the future ambition of Britain is at stake on the 8 June. So the choice of location for yesterday’s announcement was significant.
Read more: Canary Wharf’s fintech space Level39 expands
Beyond the manifesto policies and promises, all major parties are trying to articulate a compelling vision for the UK in terms of its people, businesses and economy. Political parties may be discussing the future of Britain, but alongside the capital’s banks and financial institutions over 1,000 tech professionals from 48 countries are already creating this future by tackling billion-dollar opportunities.
It is easy to see why many technology innovations resonate with Theresa May’s vision of a ‘strong and stable’ UK. You only have to look at last week’s ransomware attack that hit the NHS and global public services to see the fundamental role that cyber security must now play in the UK’s critical industries.
We have developed the largest cluster of cyber security companies in London to respond as businesses and governments around the world are starting to realise the cost of cyber-attacks.
Companies such as Digital Shadows and CybSafe are the first responders to these attacks and have never been more important.
Similarly, fintech companies are making banking services available to 2m Britons who remain without access to the formal economy. Previously these people were seen as low-value customers, but technology has changed this. Not only is this a significant market in the UK, but British tech entrepreneurs are taking their services to the unbanked population of 2bn adults around the world.
This is yet another example of tech innovation creating billion-dollar opportunities for business growth and social change.
At Level39, we have a unique insight into the characteristics required to achieve billion-dollar opportunities. Tech entrepreneurs specialising in high-potential sectors such as financial inclusion and cyber security are creating jobs, revenue and investment through hard work, a relentless focus on reinvention and collaboration. International in focus, meritocratic and ambitious – these are the values the government should celebrate in Brexit Britain.
Technology entrepreneurs represent the best of British ambition and the government should champion their vision of success and growth. The capital is home to four fintech unicorns, valued at over $18.5bn (£14.2bn), creating thousands of jobs for the city and underpinning the rapid acceleration of its digital industries. Around 300,000 Londoners are now employed by digital businesses and tech companies continue to set new records for investment year on year.
By surrounding themselves with a community of tech businesses, the Prime Minister and chancellor sent a clear message – that no-one stands for the future of Britain more than our ambitious entrepreneurs.