Tech start-ups have high hopes for 2013, survey finds

Friday 3 May 2013

Business meeting

Technology start-ups in the UK are highly optimistic about their prospects for 2013, a new study has suggested.

Some 83 per cent of company leaders surveyed by Silicon Valley Bank said they anticipate positive business conditions this year.

Among those questioned, 66 per cent reported that business conditions had improved in 2012 compared to 2011 and 73 per cent met or exceeded revenue targets last year.

Of UK start-ups earning revenue, nearly half expect their company to be profitable this year - compared to a mere 26 per cent who said the same in the US.

This bodes well for people considering starting a business in the UK's fast-growing technology sector.

Joshua March, co-founder and chief executive of start-up social media business Conversocial, said the tech scene in London has "evolved dramatically" in the past five years.

"One of the most exciting changes is how much easier it is to hire great developers than just a few years ago," he stated.

"Undertakings like Silicon Milkroundabout and the Tech City initiative, backed by so much government and press support, have turned start-ups into a viable career path."

The study found that hiring is "a key priority" for UK-based start-up businesses, with nine out of ten looking to recruit new staff.

Some 77 per cent said that finding workers with science, technology, engineering and maths skills is critical to the success of their business.

However, many small firms believe there is still a need for greater government support.

More than half (56 per cent) want greater access to government grants and funds designed specifically for start-ups, while 52 per cent would like to see tax reforms. 

"The tech start-up sector is thriving, with one in five businesses beating their revenue targets for 2012, and another strong year predicted for 2013," said Bindi Karia, vice-president at Silicon Valley Bank.

"The flipside is that many executives have concerns around how they should fuel the next level of growth, since access to funding and talent are cited as challenges for many start-ups.

"Nevertheless, these are exciting times for the UK tech scene. Executives are optimistic and working hard to develop the 'next big thing'."

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Posted by Alex Boardman