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Technology: New Businesses

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL177, tabled on 7 January 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support technology start-ups.

Answered on

21 January 2020

As outlined in our Digital Strategy, the Government’s ambition is to ensure the UK is the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business.

To support access to finance, the Government has introduced a new £2.5 billion British Patient Capital programme, which is expected to attract a further £5 billion in private investment. This will support UK companies with high growth potential to access the long-term investment they need to grow and internationalise.

To continue to attract international talent, the Government has: doubled the number of Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas to 2,000; taken doctors and nurses out of the Tier 2 visa cap, increasing the number of skilled worker visas available to other sectors, including tech; and launched the new Start-Up and Innovator visa routes for entrepreneurs. In addition, the Government has committed to introducing a new 2 year visa route for individuals who graduate from UK higher education providers.

The Government continues to fund Tech Nation, supporting their work to accelerate the growth of the digital tech sector across the country. Tech Nation deliver growth programmes for the sector aimed at stages across the business lifecycle, with programme alumni including Monzo, Deliveroo and Funding Circle. In the past year, Tech Nation have started sector-specific growth programmes in AI and Cyber, in addition to their FinTech programme. In 2019, Tech Nation's growth programmes supported 649 tech companies. Tech Nation have a regional network of 11 Entrepreneur Engagement Managers (EEMs) working across the UK to support entrepreneurs, startups and scaleups to access their programmes and networks.

Finally, at London Tech Week 2019, the PM launched a study into the competitiveness of the UK Tech Sector. Reporting later this year, the study will identify key opportunities and support mechanisms to further accelerate business growth in the digital tech sector.