Impending Brexit Already Hurting UK Tech Startups

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With Brexit looming, British tech startups are increasingly glum about the future, and the uncertainty is already hindering their ability to attract talent.  

With much of Brexit still up in the air, the UK’s tech startup scene continues to suffer from the uncertainty of the whole situation.

Over the past 12 months, British startups have struggled to attract international talent, which is fuelling an increasingly pessimistic outlook.

Tech Talent Opting to go Overseas

According to a new survey from VC firm Atomico, UK startups have seen a decrease in their ability to attract overseas talent, while European companies outside the UK have managed to attract more international talent, or maintain the same levels.

The survey, which polled 5,000 tech workers, found that UK venture-backed startups saw a significant increase in the volume of talent choosing to move abroad – more so than any other region.

Despite these figures, London remains Europe’s biggest tech city in terms of capital raised and the number of startup deals. However, as a whole, the UK is the least optimistic region in Europe about tech.

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Other Cities Luring Talent Away

Aside from Brexit, other factors are at play such as the fact other cities, which have been poor at retaining talent, are now more attractive thanks to greater levels of capital flowing through Europe.

As a result, entrepreneurs and tech talent are choosing to stay within their own networks rather than uproot to head abroad for work.

Tom Wehmeier, head of research and partner at Atomico, said: “We’re going from a period where the opportunity within the tech industry was historically concentrated geographically.

“The UK was one of those places – there has been more opportunity than anywhere else and it was a destination of choice. That opportunity, which was once geographically concentrated, is more spread through the region,” he said, adding that Brexit was a compounding factor.



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