Tech entrepreneurs around the UK are in good spirits today after the Conservatives triumphed over Labour in the latest quinquennial general election.
An overwhelming 82 percent of UK tech entrepreneurs believe they will fare well, or very well, under the Tory party, according to survey published earlier this week.
Those building technology companies in the UK are behind he Tory party because of the various initiatives it has backed over the last five years, including the enterprise investment scheme, the research and development tax credits and the patent box, among others.
Guy Levin, executive director of Coadec, a non-profit that campaigns for policies to support digital startups in the UK, said: “Digital startups in the UK are thriving, in part due to the positive policy environment. The Tories have shown that they champion startups, for example backing fintech and the sharing economy. During this campaign David Cameron promised to make the UK the best startup nation in Europe, and we hope that he delivers on this.”
Antony Walker, deputy CEO of techUK, the trade association for tech companies in the UK, added: “The Conservative party has demonstrated a solid track record on tech and the digital economy across the UK. The new government must look to build on those achievements to make the UK a world leader in the next wave of the digital revolution.”
While the Tory party has received support from the startup community, many entrepreneurs have called on the next government to improve issues such as broadband speeds and access to talent.
Alastair Paterson, CEO of UK cyber intelligence startup Digital Shadows, said: “A concern is that a less open relationship with Europe and the wider world will simply mean this talent goes and boosts an economy elsewhere.”
Jack Barmby, the 22-year-old CEO of a consumer engagement software company called Gnatta, said: “The next government should focus on improving broadband speeds across the UK. This is not only important for tech startups themselves but also for the businesses they service.
“Likewise download speeds need to improve drastically from the 3Mbps national average, as the inability to download large files is a real hindrance to businesses.”
Barmby also said the government needs to invest time into growing G-Cloud so that UK startups and SMEs are awarded their fair share of government IT contracts.
The introduction of coding to the national curriculum has been welcomed by tech startups across the UK but support needs to continue.
“If the UK wants to stay ahead we need to invest in technology education in our schools to bridge the skills gap and ensure we are supporting a new generation of innovators and creators to carry on tech growth,” said Bamby.
Meanwhile, Martin Campbell, MD of fintech startup Ormsby Street, whose platform aims to help businesses get paid on time, said the next government needs to help tech firms expand overseas.
“Help is difficult to find and has many gaps,” he said. “Practical help and legal advice particularly around setting up and managing foreign market entities and international tax, licensing and VAT are all areas which most UK tech companies must deal with if they are to trade internationally.”
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