Vodafone to open Tech City incubator

Vodafone is to open an East London 'xone' to complement its Silicon Valley start-up incubator

Vodafone is to extend its Silicon Valley-based start-up incubator 'xone' to London's Tech City.

The company is looking to attract mobile technology and creative industry start-ups, and will provide technical assistance, logistical support, and potentially funding, it said. The incubator will also perform research and development functions for the company.

Vodafone does not have a specific budget to invest, but said it may incorporate research from London xone start-ups, or take a stake in the companies.

"If a company is interesting, we can help bring a product to market," a Vodafone spokesman told ZDNet.

A number of IT firms announced expansion plans at Tech City on Friday. Italian incubator Morning Boost will open an office in August for start-ups in the UK and other markets, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said. Morning Boost, which gives access to industry and financial mentoring networks, is backed by a £5m fund from Italian web, new media, and finance entrepreneurs.

Barclays has provided funding for Central Working to launch a club for small to medium-sized businesses. Central Working charges businesses for access to meeting and networking rooms and areas.

GREE, a Tokyo-based mobile social gaming company, will also open an office in Tech City, BIS added.

As of March, the government had pumped almost £4m of public money into Tech City.