Other findings reveal that the UK is now fourth in terms of international worker percentages -- meaning that 54% of workers in tech were born outside the UK. This is ahead of Silicon Valley and New York City but behind Berlin, Chicago and Signapore. A worry for many tech entrepreneurs in the UK is the long-term, ongoing access to talent could affected by Brexit, when that happens in March 2019, according to the report. (See Is Brexit Just Another Problem to Solve? Russ Shaw Weighs In.)
The access to funding is another issue flagged by the report. This is key to the UK growing a trillion-dollar tech company.
In an event that coincided with the release of the report, The Telegraph's special correspondent for technology, Harry de Quetteville, hosted a panel, which agreed that UK entrepreneurs and founders tend to sell out too early due to the lack of funding available to turn a unicorn -- a company valued at $1 billion -- into a $10 billion company, or a $100 billion company, and so on.
Silicon Roundabout has long been the center of London's tech industry. (Image: Jack Torcello, Flickr)
Finally, the lack of good transport links is the third concern for entrepreneurs across the UK. While London is well served by public transport, with a good bus network, the London Underground and projects such as Crossrail and Thameslink, other cities, such as Birmingham, Manchester, London and Edinburgh are not so lucky. This potentially stifles productivity among the workforce and makes it difficult for new tech companies to innovate, causing more tech entrepreneurs to head to London, having a negative impact on other areas in the UK in terms of the digital economy.
However, the strengths of the UK should not be under-estimated. The UK is third in the international tech company rankings, behind Silicon Valley and New York City, and ahead of other leading tech hubs such as Shanghai, Beijing, Berlin and Tel Aviv. In terms of specific "cluster" strengths, "Appealing Area" is #1, the tech community itself is #2 -- many developers and entrepreneurs need a community in order to build a company -- and third is the proximity of specific clusters to a university, which may help the talent issue in years to come.
In this podcast, UK Innovation Hub Outpost's Kate Jack shares with London Tech Week the three key attributes startups need to have, not only to survive but thrive in a market burgeoning with competitive startup talent and innovation.