Elections, Politicians and Startups

Following a letter that was signed by 90 tech entrepreneurs last week expressing their support for the Conservatives, and the controversy that the letter engendered, we wanted to investigate whether this was reflective of the broader startup community in London. So we surveyed our contact database for their opinions…
An overwhelming majority (85%) of respondents said it had fared well, or very well, in supporting the industry over the last five years. Furthermore, 82% said their startup would be better off under a Conservative government than a Labour one. Worryingly, 75% thought a Labour government would have a negative impact on investment in the UK tech sector. So it seems there is strong support for a Conservative government among tech entrepreneurs. Rightly or wrongly.
As one of the UK Government’s Enterprise Capital Funds, we were set up to fill a gap in the equity market for small businesses with high-growth potential. The ECF programme was first established in 2006-7, under Labour and we are part of a cohort of ECF’s established under the Coalition, so we are beneficiaries of the major parties’ support of the early stage tech scene.
While the level of venture capital investment in London continues to break records, we are constantly meeting with promising entrepreneurs that haven’t been able to secure the backing they need to grow.
We hope that whoever does end up running the country over the next five years appreciates the positive impact the Government has had in championing the technology industry, encouraging entrepreneurship and attracting investment. The tech sector is a key driver of economic growth and is of critical importance in protecting the nation’s future prosperity, so long may it continue.
As a light-hearted addendum to the poll, we asked respondents to categorise each of the party leaders as a Hacker, Hustler or a Hipster. Amid the sea of Hustle, one figure stood alone, as he so often has in the past five years. No matter the result of the vote in his own constituency tomorrow, Nick Clegg can bask in the glory of being identified as the only Hipster among the party leaders.


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