#Croydon #TechCity: A Date With @TechCityNews

By - Monday 16th September, 2013

#Croydon #TechCity founder Jonny Rose unveils the fruits of a meeting with Tech City News editor Alex Wood


My meeting with Alex Wood takes place in Shoreditch Grind -  a coffee shop ripe for euphemism on the world-famous Silicon Roundabout.

True to its achingly hip environs, Shoreditch Grind is playing Darkstarr’s Aidy’s Girl’s a Computer at 11AM on a workday. After a busy morning explaining content decisioning technology to maudlin ad-hacks at Mother, this makes for a welcome pit-stop.

Alex is the editor of new online magazine, Tech City News, a site of record for the startup and technology scene in East London’s ‘Tech City’ which formally spans the area between Clerkenwell and Shoreditch, but whose influences extend far beyond EC1.

Wood’s career into journalism began during a placement in Japan – having learnt Japanese at one of the UK’s first language schools – where he started out as a trainee reporter at a national paper. Returning to England in 2008, Wood did a post-graduate course at City University where he continues to lecture in Online Journalism every Friday afternoon.

“One of my first editorial goals from day one was to make sure that Tech City News wasn’t wholly about Tech City but rather technology in the city… I want to connect all these different pockets across the city doing technology”

Underneath Tech City News’ site are impressive contextual engines that are beginning to connect people, stories, and companies in and around the capital. Ultimately, readers will be able to see that Eric van der Kleij is linked to Kit Malthouse because they both talk about ‘FinTech’, but Eric would also be linked to Joanna Shields as she is his successor at TCIO.

When Tech City News founder, Simon Thethi, pitched the idea to The Publishing Group early in 2012, it was with the strategic intent that Tech City News would eventually become a go-to resource and directory for anyone interested in the commercial, professional, and technical landscape of London.

“Our fundamental aim is to add to context to what is a very messy area”

Although comparisons are obvious, Wood is quick to distance himself from (previously doomed but newly-resurrected) The Kernel, which for a time occupied a similar media space for most of 2012. Rather than be the Valleywag of East London, as The Kernel quickly became, Wood ultimately wants Tech City News’ old-school journalism approach to position it as “somewhere between Wired and The Economist”.

Refreshingly, Wood maintains a healthy skepticism about East London’s Tech City – particularly the VC scene, with its braggadocio and legendary egotism. Having been a reporter at Bloomberg before joining Tech City News, Wood would regularly rub shoulders with characters in the city with assets under management of over £2 billion. By comparison, the seed funders and angels lording it around Shoreditch are trifling.

#Croydon #TechCity and @TechCityNews

As a columnist for Tech City News, Alex has given me free reign to document the month-by-month growth of the #Croydon #TechCity movement.

My own interests in Tech City News are twofold; to raise the profile of #Croydon #TechCity’s activity to the East London audience – with its powerful investors, mature service offerings and government backing – and to also raise the profile of Croydon as a whole to the rest of the capital; giving a new relevance and closeness to other London communities which would never have thought to travel here.

In the future, I can’t wait to see how Tech City News develops as both a media proposition in its own right, and as media partner in helping to spread the #Croydon #TechCity gospel. The opportunities for us to work together in fostering stronger connections between East London and South London – in print, through events and shared contacts – are staggering, and can only serve to make London the formidable technology hub it deserves to be.

#Croydon #TechCity FTW.

Don’t forget to sign up as ‘attending’ on the Facebook event page for #Croydon #TechCity’s 2013 Autumn launch event on Thurs 19th September 7:30pm at Matthews Yard, Croydon.

For further information about the night or any queries, please .

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose is a committed Christian who has lived in the Croydon area for nearly twenty years. He is an active participant in his local community, serving at Grace Vineyard Church and organising Purley Breakfast Club, and was ranked "Croydon's 37th most powerful person" by the Croydon Advertiser (much to his amusement). He owns a lead generation company. He is the Head of Content at marketing technology company Idio, the founder of the Croydon Tech City movement, a LinkedIn coach, and creator of Croydon's first fashion label, Croydon Vs The World. Working on Instagram training and a Linkedin lead generation service. Views are his own, but it would be best for all concerned if you shared them. Please send your fanmail to: jonnyrose1 (at) gmail (dot) com

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