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Tech City UK’s Downing Street Breakfast
With Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Francis Maude and Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe in attendance, over 45 digital business leaders – including Founders and CEOs of super-seed or stage A + B companies, venture capitalists and accelerator heads – had their chance to discuss policy with senior Government representatives.
Discussion topics were varied, including everything from Digital Single Market strategy to visas and finding the right property, as companies were given an opportunity to feedback on the key policy areas that are hindering or helping their growth.
Attendees were also given an overview of the Government-backed Afterburner programme – which is currently open for applications – by serial entrepreneur and programme coordinator, Charles Seely.
Opinions and views on the UK tech sector were as diverse as the businesses represented in the room. Some entrepreneurs outlined how they had raised funding successfully as a result of Government schemes such as SEIS and EIS. Expensive property in the capital was highlighted as a hindrance as London continues to compete on the global stage. Others were vocal about the strength and depth of the talent coming out of some of the world-leading universities we have in the UK and how visa schemes could help to improve retention of more foreign graduates. Since the breakfast, we’ve added a table on the Tier 2 visa routes to our website to help inform companies on how best to utilise the various options available.
Entrepreneurs and Government officials alike demonstrated their passion and enthusiasm for ensuring the UK’s tech growth continues. In the first six months of 2015, UK tech VC investment reached more than $2.2bn – more than all of 2014 – demonstrating once again how London/UK is the digital capital of Europe.
The companies we convened in full: Administrate, Appear Here, Applearn, Connect Ventures, Esos Ventures, Fablab, Goodnight Lamp, Grabble, Hassle, Hello Soda, Hubble, Improbable, Index Ventures, Judo Payments, Kovert Designs, LendInvest, Lost my Name, Lystable, Match Pint, Nowcure.me, Ometria, Onfido, Osper, Passion Capital, Pavegen, Peak, Ravelin, Rotageek, Sam Labs, Seedcamp, Smart Up, Tray.io, Twistilled, Wakelet, White Star Capital and XMOS.