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And we’re back, with another roundup of intriguing posts we hope will spark your imagination! We thought that sharing some examples the UK is setting for the rest of the world would be uplifting, from improving economics to Smart Pavements with free WiFi. And, to reduce your stress (and improve your posture) there’s a new comfort item – the reclining work station.

UK One Of The Best Places In The World To Start A Business in Uk

Zlata Rodionova reports that the UK has upped its rank to 6th in Entrepreneurship and Opportunity, according to Legatum Institute’s 2015 Global Rankings report. She says this survey looks for countries in which citizens are encouraged to be innovative, seek higher incomes and have interest in well-being for their people.

Contributing to the high ranking are lower expenses (the 3rd lowest startup costs worldwide, at only £81.45 in 2014), along with positive perceptions of the entrepreneurial landscape. Indeed, 88% of Britons believe working hard will get you ahead.

 

After a devastating global financial crash, the government made it a priority to get its people back to work – and the results are incredible, according to Nathan Gamester, Programme Director of the Prosperity Index.

And there’s more. Linkilaw’s been blogging about the ways in which the UK is attracting new talent:

Tech City UK Launches New Free Online Courses For Entrepreneurs

Kirsty Styles reports the addition of 3 new free courses to the former no-cost offer of 8, provided by TechCityUK through their Digital Business Academy. Skills can be learned by UK residents via the Internet – to help them start, operate or join up with a digital company. More than 18k students have participated in the instructions, which include tutorials, added resources and case studies from highly successful entrepreneurial firms.

Once you complete their online 11-course programme, you’ll be eligible for startup loans, and rewards like free co-working space, paid internships and free mentoring from local companies (such as DotForge, Dizzyjam, Spaceport, SimplyDo, Mumsnet and others). Microsoft Ventures also offers a one-on-one mentorship session with those who finish the classes.

New businesses are one of our favourite topics to write about, and you’ll find a wealth of information here on our blog:

Richard Branson’s Virgin Media Is launching Its Own Version Of Y-Combinator In London

Virgin Media has announced that it is launching a new technology accelerator in London (powered by Techstars) – with a benchmark of “solving complex problems with almost impossible simplicity.” Like iPhone, Google and Facebook, ideas are sought based upon connectivity and networking; concepts that make good things happen as they reach into the everyday lives of millions.

Early 2016 will see Virgin Media’s first accelerator group of 10 startup applicants taking a ‘13 week crash course’ in exchange for a piece of the business. A 6% equity position will be exchanged for a £13,000 investment, given to each startup as they enter the programme. They will also be given the opportunity to take up to a £65,000 convertible loan, backed up with an additional equity of up to 4%. Techstar also now offers an Equity Back Guarantee, available to those program graduates beginning in 2015, to remove any concerns a new founder may have.

Interested in learning more about business incubators and accelerators? Check out Linkilaw’s recent posts on this topic:

Virgin Media Unveils First Underground Public WiFi Zone for Your Business In UK

Yes, we’re devoting a few more column inches to yet another Virgin Media groundbreaker (no pun intended). And frankly, they deserve it. Not only can you access the Internet from the Tube, but it’s soon coming to a high street near you. The new Smart Pavement may sound vaguely familiar – remember the UK government is in the midst of a 5-year investment project building self-charging roads for electric cars?

Just recently unveiled, this innovative new public Internet access was installed on Chiltern’s high street, providing a free, high-speed WiFi zone with up to 166 Mbps. Teaming up with the Chiltern District Council, the service delivers connectivity straight from Virgin Media’s street cabinets to all residents and businesses alike – as well as VM’s mobile Android customers.

New technology is literally showing up at every corner of the UK. Learn more on this subject from these Linkilaw’s tech posts:

Office Desk Of The Future? New Design Shows We Could All Work Lying Down

Remember when the ‘standing desk’ first appeared on the scene? It eventually carved out a space for itself, even prompting treadmill-type options so you could exercise as you work. Now, you can not only stand up, but lean back, lie down or sit up with improved support in the new Altwork Station. The comfortable body-length chair swivels, as your desk and computer (along with all the technical attachments) follows its direction – all held in place with magnets.

Honestly, anyone who works on a computer has to be a bit excited about this. We’re all guilty of slouching and spending hours in poor positions, especially when we are engrossed in a project. Of course, the price will take a while to get anywhere close to being user-friendly (currently at £2,550), but meanwhile we can dream.

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