Hello @TechHub: start-ups defying Brexit
Team GB touching down on UK soil this week marked the culmination of a riveting fortnight of Olympic splendour, at which point we decided to finally tear ourselves away from our television screens and head back to Campus London for another of TechHub’s inspiring events: Hello @ TechHub.
The event was an opportunity for founders and co-founders of various ages to offer up their fast and furious elevator pitches to a gaggle of tech enthusiasts for scrutiny. Although this description evokes images of a tense, intimidating affair, the evening was characteristic of the tech community and its warmth: techies listening with interest and politely sharing constructive feedback on the business models in question – of course, all washed down with beer and pizza.
The start-up communityis always awash with fresh, disruptive concepts, and this selection didn’t disappoint. From Petto – a pet lover’s ‘tinder’ for all things to do with the pet market – to B2B start-up The Booking Factorywho have created hotel management and marketing automation software for hoteliers, the ideas were certainly varied and innovative. There was also RemitRadar – a remittance ecosystem for cheap money transfer rates, which tapped into the trend of youngsters creating fintech start-ups. The award for the wackiest creation definitely went to company Those with its futuristic digital drawing system The Woodpecker – definitely prizes for thinking outside the box there! Not every concept fulfilled the golden criteria of ‘solving a problem’, however, pitches were delivered with confidence and there is definitely success on the horizon for some of these budding entrepreneurs.
But how’s the start-up community feeling in the aftershock of Brexit? In a week when it was reported that London tech start-ups have received more funding than any other European city this year, historic foreshadowing of doom for the tech start-up community didn’t seem to have blighted the enthusiasm of those gathered in Shoreditch. However, all the uncertainty in the mix highlights the importance for start-ups to have a solid communication strategy in place, to keep those with a key involvement in the business informed and assured in the face of any changes.
From a PR perspective, it will be key for start-ups to ensure their investors, staff, partners and customers are kept abreast of how they perceive the industry in the wake of Brexit. Economic turbulence, geographic shifts and a cautious outlook from investors will all come into play for start-ups keeping their heads above water in the post-Brexit wake; for now, it’s essential for them to communicate effectively to their publics how they expect changing dynamics to affect their business strategy, and most importantly, how they plan to mitigate risk.
The beauty of the start-up community is it really is tightknit and supportive, and whilst we’ll only see the impact of Brexit on the thriving London tech scene in the long-term, it seems that for the meantime techies are doing what they do best: pulling together as a community and taking each day as it comes.