For any talk of UK tech firms leaving these islands in the wake of the 2016 Brexit referendum, the trend is turning out to be the reverse. Tech firms, and especially EdTech startups, have much to gain from setting up shop in London. This is thanks to a trio of legal, political and social factors unique to Europe’s largest city.
A very, very friendly government
The British government is more often noted for its history than modernity – visiting American politicians have been known to describe the raucous House of Commons as ‘the Pit’. When it comes to Britain’s technology sector, though, ministers know the value of hands-on support. Chancellor Philip Hammond used a recent trade mission to India to fly the flag for British FinTech and EdTech; Business Secretary Sajid Javid has created a Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship; and at 2016’s EdTech UK summit, the Department for Education announced plans for a bespoke British EdTech strategy. Opportunities abound for EdTech companies eying expansion to take advantage of ‘UK Plc’.
One of the more popular refrains these days is that Britain is leaving the EU to embrace the world. A dubious claim for many sectors, this may be more true for EdTech. There are a few unique factors that contribute – English is the global language, leading many startups to look to English-speaking countries in the Far East, especially India and Pakistan, as well as in Africa. Also, communities from around the world are well-established in London, giving the city a unique web of connections with the wider world that give the city’s tech scene a global edge. London is the world’s crossroads – what better place to look out for global opportunities and plan international expansion?
Fierce competition between schools
The capital of the UK is also the country’s most competitive educational ecosystem. In part thanks to a drive to raise standards over the last decade or so, London’s schools are a remarkable success story. The legal and political climate is increasingly ‘hands-off’, giving schools the freedom to innovate and compete. This is to say nothing of London’s universities; no city in the world has more top institutions. The competition between these institutions has created a hotbed for EdTech – especially as UK state schools have plenty of freedom to invest in – and experiment with – new technology.
For more information on London’s tech scene or how we can support your emerging technology startup in the UK, contact Goodwille today.