From startups considering opening new headquarters on the mainland to warnings about funding shortages, Brexit has certainly caused concerns among UK entrepreneurs. However, 50 British tech leaders aren’t satisfied with sitting idle and waiting for the results of David Davis’s negotiations. Instead they’re going to meet with the French prime minister Édouard Philippe today in a bid to ensure cooperation and the sharing of innovation continue between British and European technology companies.
Organised by the International Conclave of Entrepreneurs and initiated by Peter Ward, co-founder and CEO of WAYN.com, the holiday-planning platform, the delegation is packed with some of the sector’s biggest heavy hitters. For instance, joining the trip are well-known entrepreneurs like Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder and CEO of TransferWise, the fintech unicorn; Holly Tucker, founder of notonthehighstreet.com, the online retail platform; Tom Blomfield, CEO and founder of Monzo, the mobile-only challenger bank; and Blaise Belville, CEO and co-founder of Boiler Room, the music-broadcasting platform.
Commenting on the trip, Taavet Hinrikus said: “Close relations with Europe have always been important to companies such as ours. Not only because it’s a huge market on our doorstep but also because of the access to talent it offers. A thriving tech ecosystem in Europe is good for the economic growth of the every country in the region. In light of Brexit, it is even more important to work with together with the rest of Europe.”
Given that Emmanuel Macron has previously declared his ambition of making France a nation of startups, the delegation’s message of unity and continued cooperation will surely be well-received.