Rohan Silva, senior policy advisor to David Cameron and a driving force behind east London's Tech City project, has stepped down, leaving government to pursue his own online education business.
Rohan Silva will leave his post in June. (Credit: Wired Tumblr)
Silva, 32, has played a pivotal role in seeing Tech City grow from a cluster of 200 businesses to more than 1,300 in just two years, and was instrumental in the hiring of former Facebook executive Joanna Shields as CEO of Tech City in October last year.
Sky News City editor Mark Kleinman broke the news of Silva's departure, writing: "Mr Silva is understood to have held talks about taking up a role as an 'entrepreneur-in-residence' at Index Ventures, the technology investment firm which has backed some of the world's most successful internet companies, including Facebook, Lovefilm and Net-a-Porter.
"It is understood that any position that Mr Silva takes at Index would be temporary, and that he intends to launch a business in the digital education sector."
Silva told Tech City News."Anyone that knows me knows I've been straining at the leash to have a go at my own business for a number of years now."
Silva, who will be leaving his job in June, added that his departure is not a reaction to the coalition's leadership. "It's a sign of how much I love my job and working for George [Osborne] and David [Cameron]," he told Tech City News. "It's been a hard decision, I've loved that I've been able to make a difference."
Tech City CEO Joanna Shields said: "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. We will continue to work closely with Rohan until his departure in June and we wish him a world of success."
Silva started working with George Osborne in 2006, aged 25, where he worked alongside Matt Hancock, the former chief of staff, now MP and skills minister, and Rupert Harrison, who is now the chancellor's most senior economics advisor.
Speaking to the Guardian in October 2012, when reports of his imminent departure were dismissed, Silva said achievements of Tech City include "the global profile that east London now has. It's true to say that the majority of serious tech people around the world are now aware of Tech City."
Silva added that to improve Tech City it should "go to university campuses around the world to tell people about the entrepreneur visa [a fast-track visa scheme for entrepreneurs]. We want the next Sergey Brin to come to London and find a home, investment and build a business here."
IBTimes UK has contacted Tech City and is waiting for a statement.
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