InnovationItaly.it is the platform where Italy's most innovative companies meet the opportunities for internationalization.
ITA's goal is to help grow companies' business through a privileged access to strategic markets and qualified investors.
Here are the main resources available to founders, from hard funding to soft advice.
There are many ways to fund a startup. You can bootstrap the business yourself or through friends and family, go to the bank or gain entry to an incubator or accelerator. In terms of government support though there are several funding routes that can be taken.
The government's Start Up loans scheme offers up to £25,000 at a fixed interest rate of 6 percent per annum for new business ideas, as well as mentoring and support services.
Theresa May pledged £2 billion in government investment by 2020 for projects and businesses conducting research and development of cutting edge technology, with a specific focus on AI, robotics and biotechnology.
Government body Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) holds funding competitions for businesses and research organisations. Funding of between £250,000 and £10 million is up for grabs from its 2016/17 budget of £561 million for anyone working on emerging technologies; health and life sciences; infrastructure systems; and manufacturing and materials.
For businesses setting up shop in the capital there is the London Co-Investment Fund, founded and managed by Funding London and Capital Enterprise and which includes £25 million in funds from the Mayor of London’s Growing Places fund. This money is earmarked for investment in seed rounds of between £250,000 to £1 million for successful applicants.
In terms of soft support the Business is Great website is a solid resource for information on subjects as varied as how to protect your intellectual property to tax advice.
Tech.london is also a resource for founders to find tips on setting up in the capital, from workspaces and events to mentorship programmes, job boards and funding tips. Tech London is a joint project between the Mayor of London, investor portal Gust and lead sponsor IBM. London & Partners also offers support and advice for scale-up companies looking to set up shop in the capital.
Former Mayor of London Boris Johnson also set up the International Business Programme last year to help UK startups to set up and trade abroad.
The government is also keen to present the UK as a good place for startups to set up outside of their home market due to its corporation tax rates, access to talent, the ability to register a business within 48 hours and general government support and guidance.
For example: it may have outgrown the startup moniker by now but Snapchat parent company Snap Inc recently decided to set up its international headquarters in the UK, regardless of the Brexit vote.
The government relaxed rules on visas for up to 200 "exceptional" technology workers a year through the Tech Nation visa scheme in October 2015. However many in the sector warn that access to international talent is too restricted.
Since the beginning of April 2016 the Home Office has issued just over half of the available visas, according to Tech City UK. However, it still takes on average 16 weeks to hire someone through the government's tier 2 visa for skilled workers with a job offer and around three weeks without that.
The government also offers entrepreneur visas for founders with "businesses which have high growth potential" and has been funded by at least £50,000 from an approved organisation.
However, the future of these schemes, and of visas for tech talent wanting to live and work in the UK in general, is currently up in the air following the UK decision to leave the EU.
Nine technology entrepreneurs and investors signed a letter detailing recommendations for the government post-Brexit at the end of 2016, with free movement of talent a top priority. The letter states: "It is imperative that the government recognises the need to attract and retain the very best talent globally."
In terms of actual recommendations the letter states its support for a STEM passport policy. This would mean the automatic granting of a visa, or permanent residency, to foreign students who earn advanced STEM degrees like PhDs at a range of accredited UK universities, to ensure talented individuals don’t leave simply because they don’t get a job straight out of university.
France has recently set up its own tech visa programme called the French Tech Ticket.
The Government's broadband connection voucher scheme operates in 50 UK cities. It enables small and medium-sized businesses to claim up to £3,000 to cover the cost of connecting or upgrading to superfast broadband. The scheme has been open in London since March 2014 with twelve thousand businesses having received a voucher so far.
The chancellor Philip Hammond also pledged £1 billion towards the rollout of superfast fibre optic broadband across the country in the Autumn Statement last year, the latest in a long line of similar, unfulfilled, pledges by government.
Tech City UK is a government-funded body which provides a range of support for technology companies. Its schemes include the Future Fifty, which gives select startups access to expertise within both the Government and across the private sector. Alumni include Just Eat, Shazam and Skyscanner.
Tech City UK also runs the Digital Business Academy, a free online learning platform for budding tech entrepreneurs to learn key skills, with rewards including free and discounted work space and mentoring.
The government also backed a mentoring portal, linking new businesses with relevant mentors, called mentorsme.co.uk back in 2011.
12/01/2017 Source: http://www.techworld.com/startups/5-ways-uk-government-supports-tech-startups-3652774/Add a comment
Singapore Power (SP) has launched the Free Electrons Global Accelerator programme (http://freelectrons.co/), which aims to bring together utilities and startups to innovate and co-create the next generation of ideas and clean energy solutions for the industry.
The programme is initiated by eight international utilities - SP, AusNet Services, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Electricity Supply Board (ESB), Energias de Portugal (EDP), innogy, Origin Energy and Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) which together represent a global footprint covering 73 million end customers across more than 40 countries, with a combined net income of US$148 billion.
The programme is supported by two accelerator partners from Silicon Valley - New Energy Nexus and swissnex San Francisco - which have extensive networks in the innovation ecosystem and have the experience and expertise in connecting innovators.
Twelve start-ups will be selected to participate in the six-month long accelerator programme, consisting of three separate week-long "customer adoption" modules in Silicon Valley (San Francisco), Lisbon and Dublin, and Singapore.
Applications open on Jan 9 and will close on Feb 28. Selected startups will be announced in April.
INTERNATIONAL MARKET EXPEDITION
A cornerstone of the accelerator program includes three international modules across the globe, where participants will work closely with local accelerators, utilities, mentors and other resources in order to jump-start their company’s growth.
29 April – 6 May, 2017
24 June – 30 June, 2017
30 June – 1 July, 2017
16 September – 23 September, 2017
The article was first published on The Business Times on 9th January 2017.
AHAdd a comment
BIAT 2017 - Innovation and High Technology Lab, Catania - March 2-3, 2017
The third edition of BIAT showcases the innovation and excellence of enterprises and research systems in Italy's Convergence Regions (Campania, Calabria, Apulia and Sicily).
The focus areas at BIAT this year are ICT, New Materials, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Mechatronics, Renewable Energies, Environment and Smart Cities
Inviting companies, research centres, universities, venture capitalists and investors to discover some of Italy’s most exciting and innovative developments in technology, and to explore avenues of collaboration in technology, research and knowhow.
For more details : http://innovationlab2017.ice.it/ or write to us at email@example.comAdd a comment
It has been a momentous couple of years for India's vibrant startup ecosystem with great ideas, alliances, fundings, government initiatives and even failures. Here is a comprehensive list of the most influential entrepreneurs and voices on India's startup scene in 2016.
While e-commerce players still reign supreme, there are also some new entrants to the list, especially from SaaS startups.
Photo credit : MINT
Read the complete list here
Add a comment