Britain is brilliant at startups. It's time to start saying so
The UK's startup community is thriving, with some amazing businesses and engaging entrepreneurs
Sometimes, we're a nation of curmudgeons. We like a good moan. In particular, we like to look at other countries, compare them to us, and do ourselves down. And there's no more obvious place you can see this than when we talk about technology, startups and entrepreneurship.
The fact is that not only are the British brilliant at technology, we're actually also a hotbed of entrepreneurship, with some amazing companies. There's Speech Graphics, rapidly becoming the world leader in face animation. Or take a look at Oscobo, a search engine (yes, competing with Google) which puts your privacy first. And there's the amazing Social Chain, a company founded just 13 months ago which is already Europe's leading influencer marketing company.
There's a perception that tech entrepreneurship is a London phenomena, but this could couldn't be further from the truth. Speech Graphics hail from Edinburgh, Social Chain are based in Manchester, and there are tech hubs sprouting all over the country. Campus North does a fantastic job of fostering tech innovation in Newcastle and the north east, while a recent report found over 61,000 people working in the tech sector in Bristol and Bath. Croydon – a place which you'd hardly associate with technology or entrepreneurship – has such a thriving tech scene that it's described as "the Silicon Valley of south London".
If you know your history, none of this should be a surprise. We're a country that has a fantastic heritage in technology, engineering, and building world-leading businesses. We've been doing it for hundreds of years – why should now be any different?
But what we have is a perception problem. Perhaps because of the economic woes which began in the 1970's, Britain has a reputation for failure when it comes to pretty-much anything except finance. We seem to think that America does it better, or Germany does it better, or whichever country is flavour of the month and on the cover of Newsweek does it better.
We know better than this. That's why we've decided we're going to champion more and more of the country's amazing companies. Over the next few weeks, we'll profile some of the best startups, and we plan to keep on promoting the amazing creative geniuses all around the country for as long as we can.
If you have a startup, tell us about it. If you live in a part of the country that has a thriving tech scene, let us know. We want to hear your stories, and broadcast them to the world.