The Grand Old of Duke York..

…he needs 10,000 men and/or women of course.

Round table session with the Duke of York at the Trampery

On Monday this week I attended a round-table session with the Duke of York, hosted by the Trampery, to discuss the issues that technology start-ups in the area are facing and how the Duke of York can potentially help.

We settled on two key takeaway messages:

  1. The Duke of York can faciliate a gathering together of the major UK technology industrialists to increase the links between new start-ups and established successful businesses on a mentoring level.  It has all been very well the government bringing in the marquee names of Google and Facebook to the Silicon Roundabout/Tech City area, but if we are truly going to create the next ‘Google’ in the UK, then what we really need is to build connections with and laud the tech companies here that have gone before, such as ARM, Sage, Autonomy, Imagination Technologies etc. I for one am not too keen on the idea of Google and Facebook looking over my shoulder to steal my talent or try to buy my company too early (a common UK tech business failing).
  2. The Duke of York can also help to lubricate the pathways between private wealth and start-ups to bridge the gap left by lack of bank funding and VCs moving later stage.  Bankers and start-up entrepreneurs exist within half a mile of each other, yet there is very little communication.  One set of people has the money, which currently isn’t earning anything in the markets or property and the other set has the ideas that need funding, which can all be achieved under the generous EIS scheme

I’d like to thank Charles Armstrong our fabulous host at the Trampery and congratulate him on the opening of the new studio formally opened by HRH Prince Andrew.  I don’t expect the Duke of York to actively change things, but he does have the power to bring people together and therefore I encourage Eric Van Der Kleij, the CEO of Tech City UK, who was in attendance and leading the session, to bring the ideas forward to fruition and bring to life a gathering of 10,000 eager men and women at Buckingham Palace to drive the economy up the hill of growth.

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