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New business relationship between Hackney and Texas

PUBLISHED: 16:49 26 January 2012 | UPDATED: 16:56 26 January 2012

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe (left) with Mayor of Austin Lee Leffingwell

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe (left) with Mayor of Austin Lee Leffingwell

Hackney Council

An unlikely transatlantic business relationship was forged yesterday (Wednesday) between Shoreditch and Austin - the capital city of the American state of Texas - when the respective mayors met in Hackney.

Despite dramatic differences in climate and culture, both areas are known for their tech company clusters, according to Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell, who met his counterpart Jules Pipe at Mother London, a Shoreditch advertising agency in Redchurch Street.

The pair signed an agreement to increase collaboration between the two regions, in the hope of creating new jobs and business opportunities for the Texan city and Hackney’s famed ‘Silicon Roundabout’ area.

Mr Pipe said: “When US tech companies seek to expand to the UK, Shoreditch should be the logical place for them to come to and create new jobs.

“Attracting like-minded companies to Hackney can be beneficial for the long-term economic development of the area, and London as a whole.”

The document builds on existing links between Shoreditch’s tech companies, known collectively as Tech City, and the Austin Technology Incubator, an organisation made up of Texan businesses and academic and government resources.

The agreement also focuses on promoting the creative industries in both areas, and it is hoped that the Digital Shoreditch Festival, which will celebrate creative and high-tech talent in May, will be as successful as Austin’s annual South by Southwest Festival held every March.

Mayor Leffingwell said Hackney and Austin were “very similar” and added: “I look forward to seeing the strong networks we’ve built within our own countries extending across the Atlantic in a bid share ideas, best practices and encourage expansion in both cities.”

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