UK’s Tech Entrepreneurs advantages and disadvantages in the industry
The UK’s ever growing tech industry in East London’s Silicone Roundabout is forever in the media, it seems. However is it enough to dethrone their rival San Francisco’s Silicone Valley?
If you look at the main 5 P’s in business marketing can we say that the companies are ticking all the boxes?
Many professionals in the industry speak highly of London playing a big part of the tech industries internationalism. It is a central hub to both the US and Europe. Whilst you have such easy access and close proximity to Europe, the tech industry has access to the world’s largest English speaking domestic market – the US as well. The advantage is that businesses can achieve scale very quickly by having a presence here.
London is a large global city, what better environment to bring both digital and physical worlds together. Thriving companies such as Just Eat and Hailo have utilised this geographical benefit to their advantage. As Hailo is a company whose app lets commuters ‘hail’ black cabs and Just Eat is a app that lets you track & order fast food in your local area.
Being a Central hub to Europe an innovative Tech company can easily recruit the best specialist staff from all over Europe to add uniqueness to their business. A point touched on by Debu Purkayastha an entrepreneur – in –residence at Octopus Investment. The London based software start-up SwiftKey have already used the untapped potential of gaining staff members from across Europe to grow their company as chief executive Jon Reynolds stated “We have been able to attract incredible staff from the EU and beyond. This is partly because London is an economic and cultural hub”.
The basis of our point is the products and companies in the UK have an upper hand in terms of being unique. Within the UK itself there also an open and unique market for those working in technology and providing to public services such as healthcare, housing and public transport. This is a point picked up on by Joe Ludlow manages a social impact investment fund for the Charity Nesta, The digitisation of previously manual projects allows public sector bodies to reduce costs and affords small companies the chance to get big customers such as the NHS, which is aiming to be completely digital by 2018. Mr Ludlow was reported saying “the application of technology into some of those service areas could be transformational”.
What’s stopping UK technology?
Whilst initial public offerings (IPO’s) have been on the increase since 2013 there are still few large IPO’s offered to the UK’s tech sector. There seems to be a lack of entrepreneurial spirit for the tech sector as venture capital funding is proving difficult for the tech companies. This is nothing compared to the capital tech companies in the US receive; to compare this King digital in US raised $500m alone in IPO’s. There is more to be done here in order for us to be a world leader within this sector, but with royalty backing the sector we have high hopes that this will change. Tech received some high profiled backing last December as Prince Andrew and Entrepreneurial First – a program which help top technical graduates; both gathered at Buckingham Palace to promote the British businesses to some venture capitalists.
At what Price?
Now although we have no doubt that are UK tech companies are price competitive, it would not be fitting to conclude this blog without our 5th business marketing P for Price. Although we still believe funding for tech sector is vital to gaining recognition within the industry, we will touch on that backing any early stage company is risky. Investors Blur Group was one of these who were unsuccessful in a venture when their shares plummeted within a week from 800p due to changes in revenue recognition policies.
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