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Boston to Berkshire – a growing phenomenon?

12:51 15 August in Americas, Markets, USA East Coast

Inward investment from businesses based in the Boston/Cambridge area into Berkshire has experienced a ‘mini-spike’ this past year.  A one-off, or a growing phenomenon based on sector strengths and synergies?

During 2016/17 the Department for International Trade (DIT) and Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC) report on new investment including – Q-Stream (based in Burlington, MA); Alnylam (Cambridge, MA) and Acquia (Boston, MA), as well as expansions by Black Duck Software (Burlington MA) and Rapid7 (Boston, MA).

Qstream, makers of a “mobile sales capabilities platform”, have opened a new sales HQ for the EMEA region in Maidenhead, following a growth in international bookings up 200%+.  The company report that “expanded presence in the region will facilitate continued growth worldwide.”.

Qstream join many established tech companies and start-ups based in England’s “Silicon Valley” – the Thames Valley.  The introduction to the Thames Valley was made by the DIT’s representative within the British Consulate in Boston, an example of how businesses in the City are harnessing the support available to them.

Alnylam, one of the most promising US biotechnology companies, is based across the Charles River in Cambridge MA, and has joined a growing number of life science and healthcare businesses by establishing its European drug development and UK and Ireland commercial headquarters in Maidenhead.  The firm also announced its intention to build up a team of more than 100 people, including scientific, medical and business staff.  The company welcomed positive messages of support received from Prime Minister Theresa May, in whose constituency the investment lies.

Akshay Vaishnaw, Chief Medical Officer said “The decision shows that the threat of Brexit has not eliminated Britain’s attractiveness as a home for the life sciences industry”. 

Brendan Martin, who will head the UK operation, commented “With its strong academic and clinical research sector, as well as its universal health service and regulatory bodies constantly striving to be more streamlined and efficient, the UK has a lot to offer as a development hub for innovative medicines.  Our investment here signals a trust that the UK community will continue to treat this mission with the urgency and importance it deserves.”

Acquia, from central Boston, is a provider of the ‘leading cloud platform for building, delivering and optimising digital experiences and is actively recruiting and expanding their operations in Reading.  New sales and service engineers are being recruited to support company growth.  Founded in 2007, a four-time Deloitte Technology “Fast-500” firm, Acquia provides products, services and technical support for open source Web content management systems.  The DIT previously worked with Acquia as they established their Reading office.

Just before the end of 2016, Black Duck Software announced the decision to almost double the number of people at their UK office in Reading.  Stephen Gregorio, CFO said “while we have folks throughout EMEA, Reading is our home base.  The sales reps in the UK definitely generate more than 30% of our total EMEA business”.

During 2016/17 Rapid 7 – a Technology company who deliver the advanced analytics that allow security, IT, and operations to collaborate – expanded its presence in the UK from their Berkshire base in Reading. The company are now over 50 strong, with staff in sales, marketing and operations. Most recently, DIT have supported their growth by making introductions to local partners, like the Thames Valley Chamber, to help raise their profile in the UK and access public sector procurement opportunities.

There are compelling reasons for IT businesses to locate in the Thames Valley, with companies from the East Coast of the United States at the forefront of those choosing to do so.  Find out more by visiting here.