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Silicon Roundabout gets Brexit jitters

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Arthur Morgan
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It was earlier this summer when Justin Grierson noticed that the number of “hackathons” seemed to be trailing off around “Silicon Roundabout”, the east London area touted as Britain’s answer to the Californian valley that is home to technology giants Google and Facebook.

“Last year there used to be at least two every weekend and now there might be about two a month,” said the freelance programmer who is a regular at the sprint-like design events for coders and others, which often bring him into contact with others in the sector.

Activity has slowed, and many startups are reining back on spending amid uncertainty about the economic outlook.

The chill was palpable at a meeting of entrepreneurs on Thursday near Smithfield market, a 10-minute walk from Old Street roundabout.

There, young entrepreneurs, startup founders and service providers huddled around mobile phones running embryonic apps.

The project should in theory be an ideal fit for a city that has historically been home to many global charities.

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