Tech start-ups in the UK are right at the forefront of what's happening in the world – in fact, so dynamic is the sector that, as a nation, we are seeing even more burgeoning start-up companies than leading tech nations such as China, India, Germany and Japan – only the US is home to more tech start-ups than our small island.
But there is a problem – only a tiny fraction of these tech start-ups ever make it beyond the infancy stage, with many floundering or stagnating just as soon as the first green roots begin to show.
So, inevitably, the question arises – how to help ensure that Britain, so good at providing the soil and sowing the seeds for emerging firms, manages to cultivate its crop of start-ups in the long-term so that we can all reap the benefits of the harvest?
It would be an amazing boost to jobs and the economy if more British tech start-ups could make the leap from "start-up" to "scale-up"; since 2012 less than 1 per cent of the 600,000 companies registered in Britain have made this transition, which is defined by a 20% rise in turnover or employee number over a three-year period.
Perhaps we need to look at the US, which, according to a study by Säid Business School, has, unlike us, been successful in helping companies make the transition to scale-up. Across the Atlantic there is more funding available to tech start-ups, around 300% more, with the difference in the level of venture capital funding particularly stark.
Perhaps another answer is for tech start-ups to be more savvy regarding their legal advice. A good commercial lawyer can be integral in helping to attract the right kind of start-up funding and to establish the full range of contacts necessary to foster positive and profitable long-term relationships.
Part of this is finding lawyers who are a little ahead of the curve, commercial lawyers who recognise that tech start-ups no longer represent a niche and emerging part of the economy. It's about having commercial lawyers who recognise that tech start-ups are the future and that the future is now.
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