Being a start-up in post Brexit UK

What challenges will the UK’s renegotiation of it place in Europe present to entrepreneurs? The BCS editorial team asks Ben Shorrock, Digital Tech Sector Specialist for Invest Bristol & Bath

TechSPARK is an information hub that serves Bristol, Bath and the west of England. The organisation’s mission is disarmingly straightforward: TechSPARK exists to ‘shine a light on tech innovation and celebrate the brilliant people that power the companies and products based in our part of the world’

Ben Shorrock, Digital Tech Sector Specialist for Invest Bristol & Bath, explains how small, new and nimble companies will continue to flourish - even under Brexit’s cloud of uncertainty.

Q. How do you think Brexit will change the landscape for start-ups?

It's going to be a whole new set of challenges. Everything is completely up in the air so, it's hard to say whether Brexit will be good or bad. What's interesting about the start-up market is that those companies - by their very definition - are small and nimble and they're there to take opportunities. To me, that's only going to mean a whole new set of opportunities.

Being based in Bristol and Bath really supports that. What makes strong clusters is good talent, good infrastructure and being able to connect into the right universities and research programmes. All that's here and it isn't going to change because Europe is changing. There will be challenges, but those businesses, I think, will rise to that.

Q. Will Brexit make it more difficult to attract international talent?

A lot of the work we do is with Invest Bristol and Bath. They talk about why you would want to come here. And that’s a real concern when we talk to businesses, especially businesses who have previously thought about setting up European headquarters. What we’ve found, thus far, is that the talent that is here wants to stay.

And, there are routes to bringing in more talent. So, there are lots of companies who are thinking about investing. We’re currently talking with a big Japanese investor who is setting up a European headquarters. Strava has recently set up its European headquarters here. Cray has recently set up here. And they’re all doing so because they can access talent that’s indigenous and also attract international talent.

Q. Is central government doing enough to encourage new entrepreneurs?

I think there’s a lot of support there. I don’t think there are the barriers that exist with some of our international competitors. Of course there’s more you can do. There are things you can do around migration and international talent. Some of that is essential and it’s essential that continues to happen. Realistically though, there’s a lot of support when you compare us to the US and to Europe.

Find out more information on Brexit

There are no comments on this item

Leave Comment

Post a comment

Search this blog

November 2017
M
T
W
T
F
S
S
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30