back to article You know who deserves more help from UK.gov? Startup investors, say policy wonks

A Google-backed think tank report has called on UK.gov to, erm, help the local tech startup scene flourish in a post-Brexit Britain by agreeing to underwrite a newbie business' first customer contract. "Too little attention has been paid to the delivery risk taken on by the first customer of a startup," wrote policy wonks at …

  1. Buzzword

    Since it obviously works for government contracts ...

    Not so long ago, our great government promised to award more IT contracts to small businesses and/or startups. This implies that "If the startup failed to deliver, the scheme [i.e. the government] would pay the first customer [also the government] the contract value".

    Since the government has roundly failed to award more contracts to smaller suppliers, perhaps the whole principle of providing government backing to startups isn't all that wise.

    Besides, any businessperson knows that landing the first contract is easy; it's the second one which proves far more difficult.

  2. 0laf
    Paris Hilton

    Reads like - London based think tank asks wanky bearded hipster 'digital evangelists' if they'd like some money.

    London based wanky digital types say 'yes'.

    Minister and their London based wanky wonk employees say they'd also like to give money to London based celebrity endorsed wanky digital startups so they can get invited to nice parties (in London) and look good in press pictures.

    I might be wrong it's just what's implied to me

  3. Commswonk
    Facepalm

    Common Typo

    From the article: A Google-backed think tank report has called on UK.gov to, erm, help the local tech startup scene flourish in a post-Brexit Britain by agreeing to underwrite a newbie business' first customer contract.

    Let's try again: A Google-backed think tank report has called on TAXPAYERS to help the local tech startup scene flourish in a post-Brexit Britain by agreeing to underwrite a newbie business' first customer contract.

    I think taxpayers already have more than enough to pay for without anyone finding new ways of splurging their cash.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Common Typo

      well, all UK taxpayers to fund the LONDON tech startup scene

      Its like the rest of us don't count - oh wait, we don't!

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Common Typo

      @commswonk - I think you got the logic slightly wrong:

      A Google-backed think tank noted how much business Google was placing with startups and so was tasked with finding a way to lessen the financial risk to G...

  4. Blank Reg Silver badge

    Having spent too much time talking to VC's and watching some of the idiotic ideas that they fund, I'm not sure that government bureaucrats would do any worse.

    Most VC's don't really care if a product or service will be successful in the long term, they only care about how much money they can make on the IPO.

  5. SVV

    OK Google

    Instead of putting money into some bullshit think tank to propogate your ideas, why not simply put your money where your mouth is and set up a fund that can be dished out to all the hipster app based emergency avocado delivery start ups?

    The distortion of market forces being proposed here looks like "too shit to fail".

  6. SamX

    Gareth, have you ever applied for Innovate UK funding? If you are developing a simple cardiovascular diagnostics, they'd want you cut your heart out to show its picture before giving funding.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sounds intriguing, do tell us more. Please.

  7. Brenclarke

    Little help

    We found our first couple of B2B customers were happy to take a (slight) risk with a startup as they knew they were getting a good deal and the investment was low compared to what they spend on the big players. I imagin it’s rare to start with a new companiy where the investment was so big in warranted being underwritten.

    Simple tax breaks for new companies would make a real difference IMHO. R and D tax credits helped us.

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