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What’s the Buzz in the world of tech? From Phillip Hammond to Theranos.

Four weeks can be a long time in the tech world. From IPOs to new technological developments – a lot can change. This blog reflects on the biggest developments and how they’re impacting scale-ups and start-ups, in the first instalment of our What’s the Buzz series.

About the author

Simon Wax

+44 (0)20 7556 1231
waxs@buzzacott.co.uk

The Spring Statement confirmed the government’s commitment to tech – but the Chancellor missed opportunities to help scale-ups

In the middle of March we saw the Chancellor deliver his Spring Statement, and given the government’s focus on technology in the Autumn Statement we were expecting further measures to support the sector.

There were certainly some positive signs for small tech firms; the £80m funding to help small businesses to recruit apprentices could be brilliant for sourcing and developing talent, particularly as skills shortages are challenge for the sector.

However, while the Autumn Statement saw the government increase R&D Tax Credits, this was only for large businesses, and the Spring Statement did not extend this to include SMEs. It’s also concerning that the government is considering a revenue-based tax for digital businesses, which may catch out start-ups. It’s fair to say that opportunities to help smaller tech businesses were missed.

Check out our full review of what the Spring Statement means for small firms here.

Theranos provided a cautionary tale for start-ups seeking fundraising

Raising funds can feel like the holy grail when you’re a start-up – providing the means to expand your business and of course validation of your idea and your business plan. But this month US unicorn Theranos offered important lessons on what not to do when seeking funds.

Theranos claimed to have developed a revolutionary blood-testing device, and from their foundation in 2003 rose to a valuation of $9 billion by 2014. However, subsequently it emerged that Elizabeth Holmes had deceived investors about the technology and Theranos’ customers, including fraudulently claiming that its products were used by the US military. Now,

Holmes has lost control of her company and will be fined $500,000.

It’s critical that during fundraising start-ups strike the right balance between showing their business in a positive light and ensuring that they have the evidence to back up what they’re saying. As Theranos shows, fundraising can be a critical moment for your business – so make sure you do it right.

The Bank of England is embracing the fintech sector with a new hub

The Bank of England was founded 300 years ago in 1694, but today it’s making every effort to keep up with the new technologies underpinning financial transactions today.

This month it has been announced that the organisation will set up its own fintech hub, to understand and make use of technologies like blockchain. The hub will also provide a means for fintech firms to engage with the Bank of England directly.

On the whole, this is a positive sign that the Bank of England will embrace new financial firms and technologies into the future.

It’s a fantastic time to be part of the Creative Tech scene

In March we also saw a very bright side of the London tech scene, with the Tech London Advocates Creative Tech meet up. Jointly hosted by ourselves and Pennington Manches, the evening event was an opportunity to meet some of the growing stars of the Creative Tech sector.

The founder of Tech London Advocates, Russ Shaw, rightly highlighted that London truly is the world leader in the Creative Tech space and indeed we heard from some very exciting companies on the night including Bubbl, a content marketing tool that fits into any platform, CrowdEmotion a tool that measures the emotions of website users and Brainbroker a new digital agency specifically catering for the needs of small and ambitious companies.

If you’re interested in coming to a future event, look out for updates here.

You might also be interested in… Technology and media.

Our service can be custom-designed to guide you at every stage from start-up to exit. To help you keep up, use our know-how on everything from outsourced accounting to future-boosting R&D tax credits and raising finance.

We work with high-growth agencies, IT companies, e-commerce platforms, website content providers and creative businesses across the UK and beyond. And once you’re on board, you can mingle with the full range of your peers at the sector events we run with our Buzzacott Tech Network partners. Just keep your eyes open for upcoming events.

  • Understand how to attract investors VIDEO (Simon Wax ‘Raising Finance for a Tech Business’)
  • Getting the right kind of investment is hard. Our experts can help with the prep needed to attract and secure a full investment round.
  • Be clear about why you need finance and increase your chances of finding the right investment option
  • Get your house in order with organised cashflow, balance sheets, profit and loss, and accountancy practices
  • Take the time to write a sound business plan that speaks clearly to different audiences
  • Seek tax advice and guidance

Stay on top of business cashflow

Managing cashflow effectively is critical if you want to position yourself for strong growth. Monitor and forecast your cash needs closely and you won’t be caught out. Ask our advice on everything cashflow-related, from borrowing to investment stages to R&D tax credits.

Keep your business on track

Outsourcing lets you use our expert team to back up your front-of-house, freeing you to focus on business. We can help you:

Meet the Buzzacott Tech Network

As our client you‘ll meet our hugely experienced network of contacts who can offer support with everything from raising finance to M&A advice.  Alongside our partners we run regular events in London and other UK tech hubs where you can meet, learn and network.

Our technology and media partners include:

  • Silicon Valley comes to the UK
  • Angels Den
  • FinTech Circle
  • The Employee Ownership Association
  • And we’re all members of Tech London Advocates

Download these useful resources:
Launching a successful FinTech business
Funding for Growth
Exit Planning
Online annual reporting for employee share and share option plans
Valuations
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Incentives to Innovate: research & development tax credits
Small companies - choices for your financial statements
Innovative financial advice to help you grow
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Leadership development challenges | Research Y1
Leadership development challenges; One year on
Our Learning & Development Philosophy
High-Growth Tech
Launching a successful FinTech business
Online annual reporting for employee share and share option plans
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