Technology is not just about gadgets that you can buy and the software that you can use on these gadgets, at home and in the office. A lot of attention is paid to digital technology that can solve problems that might otherwise not be addressed. Startups play a crucial role in that space, and the UK plays a leading role in ensuring that digital technology gets the promotion it needs. Tech Nation is a national network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs who offer growth programs, visas for exceptional talent from abroad; digital entrepreneurship skills, a visa regime for exceptional talent and more. During London Tech Week 2019, News18 and Mike Jackson, the Entrepreneur Success Director of Tech Nation, discussed the UK startup ecosystem and how India connects there.
In fact, the UK leads the rest of the world in FinTech – the investment in fast-growing Fintech companies hit as high as £ 4.5 billion between 2015 and 2018. The story of Tech Nation began in Shoreditch in 2011, launched by the then Prime Minister David Cameron. Last November, Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the launch of Tech Nation, consolidating the impact of Tech City UK and Tech North. "Tech Nation is part of the rich ecosystem of technical support, talent and creativity that London and the British leader in the Finnish world make in finch and other broader technologies. It is this ecosystem on which the living British bridging link between India and Great Britain has been built and supported, "says Amo Kalar, deputy director of Trade and Innovation, British High Commission.
Here are the edited excerpts from the conversation with Mike Jackson.
What exactly is the role that Tech Nation plays?
Tech Nation is a government-supported agency that helps scale up digital technology companies. So it is rather defined and that we are not general tech. So if you don't do biotech, you do medicine. If you build robots and hardware, we are not. We are digital technology, so if you build software, if you do an SAS product, make a FinTech product, an AI product, a medical device, if it has a device, it needs a software or an app that are we.
How is Tech Nation funded?
So we are around 80 percent funded by the British government and 20% perfectly funded privately. And that enables us to be semi-independent. And it is very good because it means that if the government comes to us and says that we would like you to do an AI program, which they did a few months ago, we can go, okay, we should instead of what you want us to do. So we have more independence.
What is the biggest challenge, especially in the UK?
Tech Nation originated from something from the past that you may have heard about. It was all about money. And it was all about London. But what about Manchester? What about Leeds? What about Cardiff?
What kind of program & # 39; s do you have for startups?
And we have two types of programs. We have programs & # 39; s that are all about the stage of growth. We have a program called upscale. Sometimes we call the shifting bow and this is the point where things can go very well, very badly. But it's sort of the point of the trip. That is a program with around 30 companies. And it tries to take over all different sectors, but all within digital technology and the best 30 companies at a given moment. And it is competitive to continue. So we had around 120 applications this year that went through the judging process, we come to the 30 and they come from all over the UK. But they largely reflect the 50:50 balance between London and the rest of the UK. So the most important thing is, and this is what we believe our secret sauce is that we have devised a hearing-need system. So we claim we cannot learn to scale up. I know only frankly that any of us do that. So what we do is that we get 30 companies and their founders in one room. And we talk to them about problems and challenges. In the space we agree to organize all kinds of events. So maybe someone is talking about extending to India. And someone could say, "Oh, well, we just did it. And we worked with these people and they went right. And that peer learning works really well. But then the real extra bond brings the peers who just got the did a job inside and are two years ahead in the room to say, okay, so we did this and it didn't work, so we found these guys, went to this place and it was great.
Do you work with people who want to invest in the UK, including individuals?
So, I suppose there are two types of investment. There are good investors and venture capital funds who want to come to the UK, whether they are American or Chinese. They are often looking for compound deals. So often we get an approach to say, we can come and talk. And in fact, corporates often do that when they look at making business investments. So we will set up evening receptions, dinners and invite them. Most companies, even if they have just built a big lap, always race, always looking for that next lap. So to meet a good one, you know, and again, we have to do a little due diligence with the investor, are they real, are they really investing in a really good investment in the British company, are they going to try and take that company to where they come from?
If an Indian startup wants to invest in the UK, right? Or should it only be an established company?
Clearly, there are fantastic individuals and companies that come to us, but still have the ideas about which revenues want to be included in the planning. Some of them have become some of the largest companies in the UK. So we don't want to stop those people who work really well. But from the Tech Nation point of view, we also need to see results. What we are good at are signposts. A few months ago, the British government set up a new visa system for both individuals and companies entering the UK. People with an idea join an incubator and get a two-year visa to see if it will work. I always believe it is best to join an accelerator to get to the inside.
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