Birmingham tech entrepreneurs put the city’s ‘Silicon Canal’ on the royal map yesterday when they met with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Four Midland companies were invited to the reception, held to celebrate the region’s burgeoning technology scene, which was affectionately given the nickname ‘Silicon Canal’ as a nod to the tech capital of the world, San Francisco’s Silicon Valley.
Nick Holzherr, CEO of Whisk.com, the award-winning online recipe and shopping list platform, joined other Birmingham entrepreneurs Alex Major, co-founder of content sharing network Hobzy.com; and Will Grant, co-founder of secure mobile payment app Droplet; and Mark Hales and Simon Jenner, founder and chief entrepreneur at technology start-up mentoring programme Oxygen Accelerator.
The city’s biggest names in tech were also joined by other top tech entrepreneurs, such as Brent Hoberman, founder of online travel giant lastminute.com and Jason Gissing, founder of the world’s largest online supermarket, Ocado.
Commenting on the reception, Holzherr said:
“Birmingham has lots of tech talent and is affordable, making it a brilliant place to found a tech company. It’s refreshing to see businesses and entrepreneurs in the city recognised at such a high level.
“Prince Philip asked me to talk him through the Whisk.com shopping list tool and Annabel Whitehead, Lady in Waiting to the Queen, told me she thought up a similar concept almost forty years ago, but abandoned the idea after being declined by Sainsbury’s. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I quizzed Prince William about social media and found that he once had a pseudonym Facebook account but had to delete it when people discovered who it was.”
Holzherr’s Whisk.com was launched in January 2013 after he raised funding for the venture following a pitch to Lord Sugar as a finalist on the 2012 BBC TV series The Apprentice. Whisk.com now has more than 16 million impressions of the Whisk ‘Create a Shopping List’ button across the sites of some of the UK’s leading recipe publishers, including Allrecipes.co.uk, FoodNetwork.co.uk and The Telegraph.
Whisk.com has won a catalogue of industry awards since its launch, including the Cisco British Innovation Gateway award, The Drum’s “One to Watch” honours, The Grocer’s “Top New Talent” award and the PPA Digital “Newcomer of the Year” accolade.
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