The startup ‘scene’ offers plenty of events (or meetups) to provide support and information for those undertaking the journey to start their own venture.
Chief amongst the challenges facing startups, raising capital is incredibly difficult. Especially compared to the experience of those founders who head to Silicon Valley. The key missing ingredient, here in London, is common knowledge of how hard it is to get a startup off the ground. As a result, very little capital is employed outside of exchange traded securities.
What does that mean? Private investors, like you and I, do not invest in real businesses. We buy shares, bonds and funds (like ETFs) which recycle cash for those that have already raised money. This behaviour does not contribute to the growth of the economy, and it certainly does not deliver satisfactory returns.
The blog post that kicked this all off is copied in below (original here):
The government has put in the effort to make investing in bonds, stocks and property a normal course of life. Why is it that investing in private start-ups is not bolstered as much?
Well, the government have made a start with their marketing quango, Tech City UK(linked to UKTI), but this is targeted at getting the likes of Google to set up here (foreigners to invest, rather than getting us to invest). So I am going to take up the mantle through a number of initiatives:
The first step is already live and being improved on by Elias Haase, a Computer Science student: Hackful.com is a community of almost 1,300 hackers from around Europe (launched last month, so still growing).
The next step is to get on the road and talk to City and Docklands staff with hefty bonuses to invest. They should ALL be aware of the amazing opportunity that investing in start-ups can be. They should also be aware that the government has tax breaks (called EIS and SEIS) which effectively pay those high earners to invest in start-ups.
If you want to help, we need: flyers, basic website, existing angels (at the outreach events) and start-ups who are looking for cash and want to be showcased.
Support is needed to help keep the above train moving fast and always looking busy. Initially, we just need the time and ‘sponsorship’ of key angel/investor groups to lend credibility.
Funding for flyers would be very much appreciated too.