SWO Angel Group

Reflections on London’s State of the City 2018 Address

January 17, 2018

Author: Dennis Ensing

On Tuesday morning this week, about 1,200 Londoners gathered to hear Mayor Matt Brown’s recap of the city’s recent successes and plans to accelerate economic growth – all under the banner “building, growing & creating momentum”. Kudos to London’s Chamber of Commerce for continuing to sponsor this annual event and making it the biggest of its kind in Canada!

Much of what the Mayor discussed is already well-known, but I found that hearing it in a cohesive and image-supported Executive Summary style presentation was both highly interesting and engaging. Without rehashing what has already been well covered in local media, here’s what stood out for me:

  • The technology sector is now the 5th largest employer in the city
  • Five of Deloitte’s Fast 50 program winners last year are London-based: Voices.comArcaneBig Blue BubbleBig Viking Games and Diply
  • Interestingly, this is more representation than Waterloo-based companies
  • The entrepreneur support network was launched in 2017, with resource connections consolidated at findyouranswers.biz, all of whom are valued SWO Angels partners
  • Sounding a lot like our expectations for investee companies, accountability, metrics and ROI quantification will underpin changes in how funding decisions will be made in 2018
  • It took me about 45 minutes to get to the event that morning, normally a 15-minute trip
  • Rapid transit has been one of the most ambitious and publicly debated projects we have seen in a long time and the Mayor has staked out a clear position on its importance to the city’s future prospects and development
  • A train disrupted my journey, cutting all major north-south arteries at the prime time of 7:30 a.m.
  • I also wondered to myself how many of the 1,200 attending would have arrived by bus rapid transit if it were available