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City University London backs 'Connecting Tech City' initiative

University supports crowd-funding campaign to connect London's tech firms with local young people

City University London is supporting the Centre for London's new crowd-funding initiative 'Connecting Tech City'.

The project aims to bridge the divide between the rapidly expanding digital business cluster in East London (known as Tech City) and the many thousands of young people in the surrounding boroughs who could join that workforce now and in the future.

The Centre for London hopes to raise £50,000 towards the development of a new web-based platform that young people, parents, schools and colleges can use to access Tech City opportunities by discovering ways to get involved in a range of learning and employment initiatives already in place.

The project is backed by the Mayor of London, TechCity UK, the Tech London Advocates network, digital facilitators Decoded and STEM awareness raisers TeenTech among others.

City has supported 'Connecting Tech City' throughout 2014 by providing a small amount of seed funding to develop early ideas for the concept and a project video. In addition, the University's Short Courses unit will now pledge a reward for the crowd-funding campaign. Crowd funding platforms host rewards for would-be investors, for example, for the Connecting Tech City campaign a £15 pledge secures a Grow Tech City badge and there are 250 on offer.

City's reward will be a place on a 10 -week evening course in the Javascript web programming language - one of City's most popular entry-level coding short courses. The pledge is £500 and there are four rewards on offer.

Commenting on the project, Ben Rogers, Director of Centre for London said: "We are launching this as a truly collaborative campaign across London's tech and education communities. If successful, Connecting Tech City will mark a step-change in relations between East London's digital cluster and the broader local economy. We urge Londoners to get involved and help build the most socially inclusive tech cluster in the world."

Sue O'Hare, Director of Enterprise at City said: "We are delighted to stand alongside many partners in support of this much-needed initiative. Connecting Tech City can address both the skills shortage in the tech community and the information and access gaps for the local community around digital sector jobs. We hope many local businesses and others who are invested in the future of inner London, and its broad economic prosperity, will pledge something towards this for-good activity."

For more information about Connecting Tech City, visit the campaign page and the Centre for London website.

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