Startups of London's "Silicon Roundabout"

The Observer's Jemima Kiss does a roundup of exciting new startups in London's satirically named "Silicon Roundabout," including my wife's new project, a game-based 3D printed dolls company called MakieWorld. My own pride aside, Kiss makes interesting points about the UK government's goal of cultivating a tech boom in the area while courting staid tech giants instead of spunky startups.

Alice Taylor was trawling the aisles of a toy fair in London's Olympia last year when the seed for Makieworld was sown. "I was struck by the total lack of innovation and creativity," she says. So she began devising an "entertainment playspace for young people" that will invite users to download and print 3D dolls and accessories. Taylor wants to build on the success of digital favourites Stardoll, Moshi Monsters and Habbo, which all offer safe fantasy characters and environments for children to explore online.

Taylor has the perfect background to lead a business reinventing dolls for the digital age. After four years at software company Stor, she joined the BBC as a producer in 2002, and five years later became commissioner for education at Channel 4. Mother of a three-year-old girl, she is well versed in the tyranny of pink girls' toys, and adamant that Makieworld will be equally for boys. "Action figures," she says, "are just dolls with more jointing."

Taylor is a loss to Channel 4, where her imaginative digital commissions helped to reinvent the station's educational offering. She admits that she won't miss the pressures of the job: "Being a commissioner meant having to say no 15 times before breakfast."

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