Did you know there are nearly 10,000 people in the Ipswich area working in tech – earning an average of £42,000 each?
Or that Oxford is the birthplace of tech startup Sophos, the anti-virus software company that completed the UK’s largest ever IPO last year at a valuation of £1 billion?
Or even that “Cyber Valley” can be found in Worcester and the Malvern Hills, where the number of jobs in tech has grown 71% between 2011 and 2014?
These statistics and many, many more like them can be found in Tech City UK’s detailed (to say the least!) report on the state of the tech nation 2016.
Perhaps you might expect that an organisation like Tech City UK whose raison d’etre is to promote tech in the UK would be duty bound to paint a rosy picture of the state of the country’s digital economy.
But however you look at it, the facts don’t lie – tech is creeping into every aspect of how we micro-manage our lives and in the UK we have the tools, the talent and the temerity to keep pushing the envelope.
Good organisations get their business and budgets done early in the year and this “audit” from Tech City HQ has come swiftly on the heels of the inaugural report, released in the latter half of last year. It shows how keen the government are to keep abreast of developments and how much faith, financing and foresight they are investing in an industry which changes by the day, becoming ever more relevant and apparently, easy to measure.
It’s a testament to tech clusters across the UK that they can provide information so readily and willingly – call it the sharing economy, call it transparency – the kind of transparency that, alongside traction, investors love.
We know that London is the envy of Europe when it comes to seeding disruptive tech start-ups and finding follow-on funding. We know that it’s easier than ever before for foreigners to obtain VISA’s so they can live, work, and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams here in the UK – and we know that a company can be set up faster here than almost any other nation on the planet.
But now, thanks to the Tech Nation Report 2016, we know that the tech industry is a living, breathing organism capable of effecting real change, and changing people’s lives, from the “techerati”, to their customers, to those who find their lives get a little easier with each new game-changing development. And crucially we know it’s happening not just in London, which raised $2.2bn last year from venture Capital firms, but up and down the land.
So, if you are perched on a stool studying your metrics in a coffee shop in Cambridge, engineering a tricky piece of code at the Maker Club in Brighton, or leveraging Leicester City’s Council’s enthusiasm for tech entrepreneurs at De Montfort, grab yourself 15 minutes and tuck into the State of the nation report.
Because in today’s environment, for start-up founders and entrepreneurs specialising in digital, 15 minutes of fame is the least you can expect. Digital tech is turning over £161bn per year and growing 32% faster than the rest of the UK economy. And the average salary is £50k. These are the kind of numbers and graphs – going up and to the right – that investors love. And YOU are part of the growth.
Here’s to no signs of a slowdown when the 2017 issue comes out.