Recommendations for ambitious tech entrepreneurs


Get support, go international

London has extensive global connections, but tech clusters across the UK are going global and all must elevate their ambitions to perform on an international stage.

Begin expanding your network by learning from founders and CEOs with international experience. Engage with UK networks like International Tech for Good. Tech Nation’s Future Fifty and Upscale programmes, for late and mid-stage scaleups, run tailored sessions on going global.

Support is also available through the Department for International Trade’s Exporting is GREAT campaign, the Mayor of London’s Go to Grow programme, British Chambers of Commerce and local Chambers.


Engage with corporates in new ways

Analysing the age distribution of companies within each of the UK’s tech ecosystems paves the way for more targeted and appropriate support for each.

26% of clusters are categorised as ‘scaleup dominant’ economies and just 12% as ‘startup dominant’ ones.

Mechanisms that expose startups and scaleups to corporates should be embraced. If you are a digital tech entrepreneur, look for opportunities to engage with corporate accelerators or work spaces, like Barclays’ Eagle Labs or Wayra’s Accelerator.

If you are a corporate make the process transparent. By setting KPIs, focusing on real internal needs and securing senior ‘buy in’ you can smooth the journey


Learn from peers, accelerate growth

The challenges that communities face are seldom exclusive to their cluster — they include access to talent, funding,
transport and workspace.

Use the Tech Nation Report 2018 to identify the challenges experienced in your local digital tech ecosystem. Do they align with your own?

Connect with communities across the country, learn from the experiences of your peers, and share your experiences. The UK network is unique, and our rich ecosystem strengthens the country’s position as a world-leading Tech Nation.


Collaborate to accumulate

Learning from others could reduce the time it takes to innovate and
accelerate success.

Informal industry meetups are a good way to test new ideas, discuss emerging
topics, and meet likeminded individuals or potential collaborators.

By tapping into the networks that we highlight you could find local groups that you have never previously come across.

Dive into this powerful network. Explore the connections between groups, or search for terms you are interested in.


Recruit talent creatively

Across the UK, employer demand is outstripping supply of digital tech skills. Increasing diversity would broaden the talent pool.

Communities across the country also stated that their ecosystem’s ‘proximity to a university’ was among its key strengths. Relationships should be cultivated with student tech societies. Startups can also engage with students directly through career fairs like Silicon Milkroundabout.

Working with a local code club for children can help future-proof your talent pipeline. Norwich’s Step Into Tech, for example, helps children develop their love of all things tech, while Raspberry Pi promotes digital making with their small, affordable computers.

Education is often framed as the solution to skills shortages. But, without current and accurate information on in-demand skills, we cannot target our response. Armed with it, we can create a workforce with the right skills not only for our current economy but for emerging sectors that will drive growth in the future.

Tech Nation’s Digital Business Academy (DBA) is an open learning platform, designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn the skills they need to test ideas, develop products and services, and take their business from dream to reality.

Find out more and join over 20,000 entrepreneurs gaining the skills to start, grow or join a digital business on the Digital Business Academy.

Tech Nation 2018 is now open!

Great news. All data featured in the 2018 Tech Nation Report is available online for non-commercial use by third parties.  The data can be accessed through the platform. If you use the data, please let us know. We would love to showcase your work.

If you'd like know why we are doing this, check out our blog.

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