It’s that time of year when we review what has happen during the preceding 12 months. There is little doubt that 2014 has been a great year for London startups. The tech startup scene really grew up. We have been in a great position to see this process develop, at the grass roots, having met over 300 startup teams and made at least 150 introductions to investors.
We have seen several major themes develop;
- Tech startups everywhere – The platform has been buzzing with new startups of all different types. There have been plenty of new FashTech and FinTech startups, many of which have featured at our Google Campus Demo Days. We have jointly hosted a hardware startup Demo Day with Google and seen plenty of wearable tech, B2B and digital marketplaces. We also saw several really promising startups in the healthcare sector. On the other hand Google Glass hasn’t taken off as expected and the IOT has still to deliver the expected innovations.
- A confused investment scene – Although the Government tax breaks really kicked in, it isn’t clear whether they didn’t just move the problem elsewhere. The good news is that there is funding available for quality startup teams looking for seed funding up to £150K. The SEIS scheme, plus a boom in accelerators and the growth of crowdfunding all feed demand at this level. However, very few VC’s have moved downwards in the way they promote on their websites. This leaves a nasty funding gap between £150K and £1M. There is however, a lot of new activity at Series A with most VCs operating at this level.
- More work, less drinking – At last the London startup scene is starting to get serious. There are still plenty of those drink fueled networking events but the real work is taking place elsewhere. A visit to Silicon Milkroundabout in October was enough to see that there are a whole load of real startups open for business and thriving. King, Onefinestay, Huddle, Duedil and others are recruiting like crazy. It looks like 2015 will be a great year.
- Optimism – Entrepreneurs are always optimists but 2014 has stoked this further. London is now seen as a realistic place to create a tech startup. The Government schemes and incentives have made it attractive for both investors and founders. The eco-system is booming and there are plenty of good service providers.
- Shortage of skilled technical resources – With a rapidly expanding tech scene it is not surprising that there is a shortage of good technical staff.
If you have a great tech startup idea, now is the right time to execute on it. Pull together a team, join our platform and attend Dreamstake Academy. We will be happy to help you get your startup off to a good start.
Blog by Paul Dowling – Co-Founder of Dreamstake the world’s first tech startup platform to match founders with the most appropriate investors using a unique startup rating system. This allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor startup progress and inject capital and support when most needed. Startup founders can create profiles on the platform and get direct introductions to investors. We are constantly looking for great early stage tech startups. Investors please contact [email protected]