Welcome to another exciting week in UK startup news, where small business and tech companies are at the forefront once again – and we’ve come across a few posts you shouldn’t miss. From breaking into the food tech industry to 18 handy online tools for your tech business, there’s a little something for everyone!
Author Graeme Phillipson shares his point of view to support the fact that the UK really is ‘going B2G.’ Apparently, the government is on a mission to raise its total purchase spending another 7pc by 2020. The £11.4 billion spent last year represented 26pc of the central government spend and, Matt Hancock states, “We want to increase the proportion to one third by 2020.”
This could mean another £3 billion per year aimed toward the SMEs. The field is open to those companies with fewer than 250 employees. Expect robust monitoring and best practices to be the norm if you’re lucky enough to get their attention.
James Laird describes just how food tech is demonstrating astounding growth, pacing itself alongside a $6.4 trillion food spend for the planet. Now add in the fact that by 2050 there will be another 9.6 billion people around the globe to feed, and you have an increasing demand looking for efficiency and innovation.
Laird suggests that if you have an itch to launch into the food tech scene, you consider his few points beforehand. Amongst those are to do your research, network with like minds, be disruptive (stand out), be strong online, and of course, be social.
According to author Jimmy McLoughlin, deputy head of policy at the Institute of Directors (IoD), a startup in the UK only has a one chance in 100 of reaching £1m in turnover by the time they celebrate their 10th anniversary – and only 4pc of them will have over 10 employees. And why is this? McLoughlin chalks it up to finance, because “growth implies risk” which makes traditional bankers less likely to get on board.
Though some banks are moving toward increasing their startup investments (as in RBS collaborating with small business), it’s far from keeping up with demand. Up to this point, only 5pc of the £1.5bn raised through these schemes has come from people committing less than £10,000. And, he states that open communication is necessary to connect would-be investors with EIS and SEIS tax relief programmes.
McLoughlin has some good suggestions for laying a foundation to emulate the success of aggregator funding:
- Increase awareness of government schemes available to the community
- Let small investors include EIS/SEIS investments within a super-ISA
- Create an online user-friendly claims system for small investors with <£2,000
Navigating the London Tech Start-up Scene Part II
Here’s the next post in a series we first listed last week, by Huan Song. This sequel goes on to further explore the funding side of the startup scene in London. Song lists several investors in each of the following categories:
Venture Capitalists (VCs) – there are the granddaddies like Index Ventures and Balderton, which we can thank for Skype and Citymapper respectively. There are less well known smaller firms to give a try.
Accelerators – with 32 of these, there’s a variety to choose from. From corporate-backed JLab and Red Bull Amplifier, to niche specific firms which offer pre-seed funding, the rounds generally run from £10- £20k, with an average equity of 8pc.
Angel Investors – Song mentions the Angel Academe (exclusively for women), as well as a business association of tech angels. This UK Business Angels Assoc. runs member events and funding workshops for entrepreneurs.
Small business loans – a non-profit organisation supported by Richard Branson, Virgin StartUp which provides loans to England-based companies run by British citizens or UK legal residents. Another interesting inclusion is ‘Fredericks London’ Small Business Micro Loan Fund, wherein you may be eligible for up to £10k if you’re able to create jobs in the city.
Here’s a handy little list of applications that can help keep your tech business in top shape. Though any type of company might benefit from them, these are particularly geared toward those whose primary method of communication and marketing is online.
To make your browsing even more user-friendly, it is broken down into categories in which the tools might be most effectively used. From accounting and customer support to operations, each application includes a description of just how you can take advantage of what they provide.