By Tami Briesies, Zazzle Media
When one thinks of digital technology the mind might naturally wander across the Atlantic to the States, where the west coast is scattered with life-changing digital expertise, exciting venture capitalists and developers like pebbles on a California beach.
But not so fast – the UK is punching above its weight with some stunning and exciting examples of start-up brilliance that are making their mark worldwide.
Here are ten reasons why Britain is creating some great digital expertise to use.
1) Getting caught up on a roundabout could be the best move for Britain’s young digital stars in the next decade, with the predicted creation of 46,000 jobs in London. Specifically in the technological sector, Oxford economics predicted that these jobs will be centred around the so-called Silicon Roundabout and will boost the technology sector to the tune of £12bn, or 5.1% annually.
2) The UK economy could be on its way back, depending on who you believe. This month the head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde praised the UK government’s economic strategy, of balancing spending cuts and revenue-raising. Her words followed the announcement that the UK economy is now the second largest in the EU. Clearly, the economy is booming – and the technology industry is primed to take advantage.
3) Could the sheer volume of investment sought in Silicon Valley mean that other locations start to take slices of the pie? More to the point, is it more profitable to set up shop elsewhere? According to this graph plotting number of investors against number of start-ups, the ratio is more favourable for London than San Francisco and New York.
4) The UK has a diverse and rich culture of different nations and ages and interests. In a nation where nearly 8 million inhabitants were born abroad that represents both an interesting melting pot of ideas and experiences from across the world, but also a rich customer base from which ideas can fan outwards. Don’t underestimate the effect that the Royal Family, The Premier League, Eastenders and other facets of our everyday life have worldwide; simply put, people like the UK and want to be a part of it.
5) Britain encourages entrepreneurship, in business, science, the arts, sport and education. Take a look at the diversity of ideas in this list from The Hub, including the council estate lad who has created an £8million broadcasting company in eight years. The article also reveals the number of under-35s starting businesses has risen by more than 70% since 2006.
6) Britain is interconnected. The genesis of Tech City and its 3,200 companies might be in East London, but its aim is to engage businesses across the country through initiatives such as Future Fifty and Digital Business Academy. Britain also shares knowledge and encourages learning and fresh ideas, which is why 65% of 47,200 digital companies analysed in recent research claim to be part of a cluster, with 1.46 million employees.
7) And as interesting and remarkable as it is, Tech City is just one of a stream of fantastic digital clusters across the country. A report from Duedil shows not only that digital job growth is set to outperform all other occupation categories by 2020, but also that the fastest growing tech clusters can be found in Liverpool, Belfast, Greater Manchester and the fastest growing of all, Bournemouth.
8) The UK boasts three of the world’s top ten universities in Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College London, and that standard of academic excellence carries great kudos. Cambridge’s Silicon Fen boasts 1.5 times more than the national average of digital enterprises; around 1,500 science and technology-based companies in total. Cambridge’s near neighbour Peterborough also packs a punch through companies such as Ideal Shopping Direct and comparethemarket.com, which is recruiting for a number of technology-centric roles – click here to find out more.
9) Scotland and its powerful politics has figured prominently in the past six months, with its referendum on independence and the high profile of Nicola Sturgeon.
And digital waves are being made north of the Border in the ‘Silicon Glen’ with impressive moves in the world of Fintech and a recent pledge from Edinburgh and London to jointly promote their technology companies supplying new products.
10) Not only is Britain in a prime geographical location for communicating with the US, but it also lends itself to building strong links with investors in the East. According to the Branching Out: Investment Opportunities in China in 2020 report the UK is likely to contribute £26bn to the Chinese economy in the next five years. That means an exchange of ideas, of know-how and of trade – which might also lead to expansion opportunity for our digital entrepreneurs.