Prime Minister's technology advisor Rohan Silva to step down

Rohan Silva, the Prime Minister's adviser for technology and the man behind Tech City, is to step down from his post in June to pursue an entrepreneurial role, Downing Street has confirmed.

Silva has worked as David Cameron's technology advisor for several years, and was previously an adviser to Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

He has been credited with formulating the concept behind Tech City, entrepreneur visas and most recently the launch of the London Stock Exchange’s High Growth Segment.

It is understood that Silva plans to work with venture capital firm Index Ventures, before starting a new business in the educational technology industry.

A Downing Street source said: “Rohan is committed to entrepreneurship and has always said he wants to start his own business at some point.”

Number 10 confirmed that it plans to hire a replacement in due course.

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Joanna Shields, chief executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO), praised Silva's contribution to the East London technology cluster and wished him success.

“When you have a passion for entrepreneurship like Rohan and spend as much time working with start-ups as he has in building Tech City, moving from championing those businesses to creating one is a natural next step,” she said.

Tech City has become a major part of the government’s plans to get Britain’s economy moving, and the latest budget included a number of measures designed to support small businesses, such as the abolition of stamp duty on AIM shares and £75 million of new funding for venture capital.

At the end of last year, the Prime Minister also announced a new £50 million project to regenerate Old Street roundabout and turn it into “Europe’s largest indoor civic space” for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

However, critics point out that few firms in the area have matured to become prominent tech companies, and a report by think tank Centre for London at Demos last year found that the government's efforts to support the cluster are “muddled, and potentially counterproductive”.