Sadiq Khan pitches for tech investors in Silicon Valley

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Sadiq Khan pitches for tech investors in Silicon Valley
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Sadiq Khan on Tuesday switched from banging the drum to pitching for London as he headed to Silicon Valley and prepared to open a baseball match.

The Mayor was in San Francisco on day three of his US tour as the focus moved from tourism to attracting tech investors to London. Mr Khan was leading a delegation of 11 female tech founders who had flown in from London for meetings at Plug and Play, which links start-ups and venture capitalists.

This was being followed with visits to Google and LinkedIn, a question and answer session with students at Stanford University and throwing the opening pitch at the game between San Francisco Giants and the Colorado Rockies in front of an expected 30,000-plus crowd at Oracle Park.

Mr Khan on Monday quietly headed to Central Park to practise his throwing — as his New York Police Department protection officers stood guard — before having a 45-minute private meeting with Hillary Clinton at the Clinton Foundation offices in Manhattan.

Hillary Clinton is among the political luminaries to meet with Sadiq Khan during his US tour (PA Wire)
Hillary Clinton is among the political luminaries to meet with Sadiq Khan during his US tour (PA Wire)

They discussed the implications of the US supreme court’s anticipated overturn of the Roe v Wade judgment on women’s rights, the economic recovery from the pandemic, plans for Labour and the Democrats to work closely together and last week’s London borough elections.

Mrs Clinton, the former US secretary of state and presidential candidate, was understood to be fascinated to hear that the Tory flagship boroughs of Wandsworth and Westminster had been seized by Labour. Plug and Play is the world’s largest early investor in emerging tech firms and is in the process of setting up its first UK operations in both London and Warwickshire. Plug And Play aims to make up to 30 investments a year in UK start-ups.

Google has invested about £730 million in its Central Saint Giles office in Holborn, which alongside its growing campus at King’s Cross will create space for 10,000 UK employees. Over the past few years Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft and LinkedIn have committed to expanding their London offices.

The female-led tech firms have been invited to join the California leg of Mr Khan’s five-day US trip by London & Partners, the City Hall funded trade and tourism agency, under its Beyond HERizons programme. He was joined yesterday by members of the Coldstream Guards and cast of Six the Musical as he unveiled a £10 million campaign in New York to lure international tourists back to London. Last night it was announced that American baseball matches are to return to London next year.

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