In the loop: mapping accelerators, incubators and startup hubs

Nesta reveals how the number of accelerators in the UK has mushroomed since 2011 while Edinburgh is named the country’s most startup-friendly city

In the loop: mapping accelerators

Nesta maps Britain’s accelerator and incubator landscape

You can’t beat a good incubator or accelerator when it comes to turning a bright idea into a revenue-generating startup or ushering a successful business into the stratosphere. And entrepreneurs shopping for a suitable opportunity will be pleased to hear that Nesta, the innovation foundation, has helpfully mapped out exactly where in the country to find them.

At Nesta’s latest count, there were 163 accelerators in the UK and 205 incubators, many of which are outside the capital. It also revealed that corporate involvement in accelerators is on the rise and that most accelerator programmes have been created since 2011.

Chris Haley, head of new technology and startup research at Nesta, said: “It is interesting to see increasing levels of corporate involvement in accelerators – large companies have many different resources which can be of value to startups, including mentoring, industry insight and routes to market.” It does seem like startups are spoiled for choice when it comes to both accelerators and incubators but we have to wonder just how many more the system can support.

Are Brits going off the gig economy?

Thanks to high-profile tribunals involving brands like Uber and Deliveroo, the gig economy’s been under the microscope lately and questions are being asked about how fair the model really is. And a new report from employment website Glassdoor has found that, despite the flexibility it offers, not many Brits are keen to be paid on a per-job basis.

Glassdoor found that just 13% of the UK workforce would consider working in the gig economy full-time, with 76% saying that having a permanent contract is more secure and comes with other benefits. In fact, less than 10% of people agreed that the gig economy will be the “future of work”.

However, Direct Line for Business, the business insurance provider, also released a report this week showing that the number of self-employed workers in the UK has increased by 23% in the past decade to reach 4.7 million. So while many workers may prioritise security over flexibility, there are clearly plenty who still find themselves moving away from full-time employment.

Edinburgh’s the best place in the UK to start a business

London has a well-established reputation for being the most startup-friendly city in the country. But entrepreneurs looking for a place to call home have plenty of options outside the capital. A new report from Expert Market, the B2B price comparison website, has shone a light on the UK cities with the most startup-friendly ecosystems.

Looking at factors like business survival rates, commercial rent prices, transport links and available talent, it named Edinburgh as the best city to launch a startup in, followed by Bristol and then London. And if you’re planning for long-term success, you might be interested to hear that businesses in Chichester have the best survival rate in the first five years.

The report follows news earlier this year that the UK and Scottish governments are backing a new fintech hub in the Scottish capital and an announcement by PwC that it’s to work with CodeBase to “build a tech powerhouse in Edinburgh”. Surely it’s only a matter of time before the city produces more startup success stories in the vein of unicorns Skyscanner and FanDuel.

Brexit drives a boom in buying British

While foodies have long been trying to outdo each other when it comes to how local the food on their plates is, it seems that the Brexit vote may have made people even more passionate about buying British. A YouGov poll has found that 23% of consumers are more likely to buy British food as a direct response to the UK’s looming divorce from the EU.

Kate Fillery, an analyst at YouGov, said: “Since last June there has been much talk of boosting the economy of the UK by buying British. This research shows that this message is hitting home with a large number of consumers.”

However, the study found that if British food became 10% more expensive, three in ten people would choose cheaper foreign produce instead. So once Brexit really bites and UK products become pricier, it will be a real test of how far patriotism counts when it comes to choosing what to put in your supermarket trolley.

Maria Barr
Maria Barr

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