- April 1, 2019
- Posted by: Sam Ward
- Category: Industry
The future of British tech starts now
The UK is feeling a little unsure of itself as a nation right now with so much uncertainty on the table. There have been talks about how we will distinguish ourselves as an independent nation and remain a major player in the global market and leaders in research. Many people point towards the technology industry, and for good reason.
The UK tech sector boomed to £184 billion in 2018, growing at more than double the rate of overall GDP at 4.5% per annum. Its value rose by £14 billion in just one year because of the huge amounts of venture capital being thrown at the UK’s tech startups. 37% of global unicorn tech companies are in the UK. We have a knack for it. But, without the right care and opportunities in the UK tech sector, many tech small businesses could fail, particularly as they start to feel the squeeze of the skill shortage. If tech is the future of the UK, it’s time to make sure we do everything possible to nurture our tech start-ups.
At times like this, people often look to the government for answers, expecting tax exemptions or certain perks provided to desirable companies to encourage their growth. But, with the government preoccupied, we need a different strategy, and Barclays Eagle labs seem to have the answer.
Although there is more venture capital investment than ever, 75% of venture-backed startups fail, because building a unicorn company isn’t just about the money. First, startups need a clear purpose. A business built on passion is one that can endure the make-or-break moments that it will inevitably face. Then, they need to be audacious. Playing it safe isn’t going to work in a world filled with competition. The people who will succeed are the ones who start a business with the unwavering thought that they will succeed and adapt their style to not only challenge the big companies, but also beat them. Tech startups need to drive innovation.
The key is to never stop learning, using your experiences to drive the company forward. And these experiences should come from a diverse team – through gender, race, religion, age, or sexuality – there should be no limits. Each person brings one unique part of the puzzle to the table that together helps for the bigger picture of where the company is going and what they stand for. One of the most obvious things a tech startup needs to do is manage their finances accurately and efficiently from the beginning.
There’s a lot to keep up with, but when I visited the Manchester Barclays Eagle Lab dedicated to helping tech SMEs grow stronger, I saw how one simple idea could help tech SMEs and start-ups blossom.
How do Eagle Labs help tech startups
For everything a tech business needs, or needs to be, the Manchester Eagle Lab had the simplest, yet most effective answer. Tech companies are notorious for their high start-up costs due to the advanced equipment and knowledge they need to operate. At the Eagle Lab, the SMEs were given access to some of the latest technologies, like 3D scanners and printers, helping them make prototypes and carry out product analysis. Simply by being able to access this technology, these SME and start-ups are able to minimise the mistakes they make in the comfort of their own office, before presenting the refined product to the world.
The Eagle Lab is host to multiple tech businesses who can collaborate and work together. There is a huge advantage of being able to share ideas and bounce off other people with similar interests. It instils confidence and increases the success of these tech companies. And, when this collaboration and networking with the other businesses isn’t enough, there are always workshops, seminars, and business advice sessions to attend to imbue some of the knowledge that start-ups need to succeed.
It’s a simple concept to turn your unused real estate space into a place for start-ups to work together, but it’s a small way to have a massive impact in strengthening the UK’s tech start-ups of the future. Barclays Eagle Labs are just the beginning of the growing support system for Britain’s businesses, which I believe is the key to a stronger economy overall.
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