“Tech Growth UK – How to land and grow your tech business in the UK from people who know what it takes” a webinar at London Tech Week. Andrew Elmwick & Chris Moore from the Department for International Trade, Joanna Dodd from Rochester PR, James Blackmore from JMB Partnership and Sarah Kenshall from Burges Salmon are sharing their knowledge on expanding to the UK. We attended and here are some of the key takeaways.

Tech during and after the pandemic is as strong as ever

The world is a very strange place at the moment but the technology sector is as strong as ever following the Covid-19 pandemic. Our dependency on tech is only going to grow in the UK during and after the Coronavirus pandemic.

The UK is the number one tech scale-up market in Europe 

The turnover of UK digital tech businesses has grown since 2018. The United Kingdom is number 1 in Europe for Tech Scale-Ups. 10% of the UK’s revenue comes from the technology industry. The UK’s Digital Tech sector has also grown 6 times bigger than the rest of the UK’s economy over the past 8 years and now withholds 10% of the UK’s employed workforce.

Why is the UK so leading in the tech industry? 

The reason the UK is succeeding in tech companies is that the UK remains the hotbed for tech talent, employing 5% of all high-growth tech workers globally. You can find 4 of the world’s top 10 universities and 8 or Europe’s top 20 universities in the UK.

The United Kingdom also has a huge number of accelerators driving the growth of international start-ups from the country. Many of them are also sector-specific and corporate-backed.

The main reason for the UK’s tech success is, however, innovation. Different innovation centres can help advance the best digital ideas to market. This is related to emerging technologies like for instance, IoT, Future Networks and AI.

Coronavirus and expanding to the UK

Covid-19 has delayed some element in your expansion journey, but there are some things you can still do:

A virtual office allows you to set up a legal entity without a physical presence in the UK and you can start trading and bringing in revenue to your company. Having a UK address and phone number also gives your customers more confidence and trust in that there is someone here in the UK with knowledge ready to answer their queries.

How to establish a presence when setting up in the UK

The key elements of establishing a presence in the UK (nice keyword use!) is by knowing your market, sectors and competitors. It is important to do a great amount of research before entering a new market because it will make you understand your position. Another important element is to ask yourself if you are relevant and how you can stand out. Why do you stand out from your competitors? Use combined-media opportunities, paid, owned, earned, and shared to get effects for the effort you are putting in. The most important element in creating a presence in the UK however, is to be adaptable. Listen to the advisors around you and listen to your customers.

How long does it take to expand and establish a business in the UK?

You should think like a start-up when entering a new market regardless of how established you are in your home market. You have to get your name out there using PR-efforts, key messaging, making sure that you create opportunities. It can take time, but if you do these things in the start and show the market that you are serious it will show results in the long run.

How the legal framework supports you in your UK entry

Customers trust in your supply chains and there is a great deal of support in the UK’s legal framework for companies scaling to the UK. Topical areas where UK laws assist in creating a trust for your customers are in cybersecurity, personal data, artificial intelligence and smart contracts.

For us, it’s always interesting to see the number of businesses from overseas that are looking to enter the UK market, and hearing that the UK remains a highly attractive market despite the challenges around coronavirus and Brexit is reassuring. To find out more about establishing your business in the UK, do not hesitate to contact us.