Set up, scale and grow your business globally in the UK
Written by Marcin Boroń
Marcin Boroń is an Investment Advisor at the Department for International Trade.
British Embassy in Warsaw through its Investment Team, which I am a proud member, is committed to serving as a catalyst for exponential growth of Polish tech companies in the UK. This requires us to embed ourselves in the Polish tech scene, sensing the latest industry-transforming technologies in Poland. Doing so in Kraków, we teamed up with Synerise, one of the leading Kraków tech business. In result, we delivered ‘Scale up in the UK event’ at Sheraton Krakow, on 31st of January.
Kraków itself has produced a number of cutting-edge technologies; AI and deep learning to help make smarter business decisions, virtual assistants and chatbots to exponentially increase customer engagement, blockchain to transform the way enterprises operate, and a huge growth of scalable IoT projects specifically in the context of smart cities and smart industries. It was very exciting to see so many globally-oriented entrepreneurs meeting our Team in Kaków.
Embassy in Kraków #Scale up successfully in the UK: Sheraton Krakow, Jan, 31st 2019
Initially, Bartosz Koziński and myself offered a brief overview of what exactly the Department for International Trade (DIT) is, how it works and why it’s worth reaching out when considering or doing business in the UK. We stressed the openness of the UK for business, and introduced a number of mechanisms that offer a soft landing for those who start their UK journey. You can easily get a hot-desk in most of the major cities for as less as GBP50-150 a month. You can be plugged into the local entrepreneur networks, academia or business associations. All for free.
Tony Hughes, serial entrepreneur, commercial director at City Curator & DIT consultant offered a practical guide on running tech business in the UK. Tony emphasised, that in 2018 only, the UK companies received over GBP 7bn in venture capital, which accounts for around 35% of Europe’s total. Tony has put this simple, if you are persistent, set up your business in the UK, register for SEIS/EIS, and you’ll easily get funded.
This was somewhat also confirmed by Zbig Woznowski, CEO of Reality Games, who delivered a top quality case study of why he chose the UK for his HQ. Upon completing Oxygen Accelerator in London, Zbig got funded by 6 UK business angels. Then it’s all history. Reality Games exhibited in SF, and got a introduced to Apple, Microsoft & Google by DIT SF officers. Incredible non-cash value added, you’d not otherwise get.
Equally inspiring, Dr Milosz Gruca, CEO, Selvita UK explained why the company is present in Cambridge, UK. Simply speaking, Selvita wants to be in the best location for drug discovery, that is the Golden Triangle (London, Cambridge, Oxford). It allows for a daily face-to-face communication with the clients & partners, better access to the graduates & acts as a global growth springboard.
Lastly, Krzysztof Blusz, Global Expansion Director at Synerise has thoughtfully, sensibly and passionately moderated a panel discussion with Tony, Zbig and Jack Thompson (Angels Den). It was one of the best parts of the event, with a number of practical hints on doing business in the UK & globally. To cut the long story short, Tony was asked on how one should start their UK expansion. Answer was plain: please get in touch with the Investment Team at the British Embassy in Warsaw. Then, we can take it from there.
Last but not least, you can be always assisted by a professional accountant & legal advisor. There a number of commercial partners we work with, including Capital Business Links (that also delivered a presentation at our event) so reach out if you’re looking for a recommendation.
Top 10 services our DIT team offers
DIT and regional partners offer free, confidential and tailored support in a number of key areas.
- Relationship building with key contacts, institutions & businesses;
- Setting up in the UK;
- Finding UK base & aftercare through on-going support;
- Information on tax, regulatory and business planning issues;
- Accessing finance;
- Recruiting skilled staff;
- Links with centres of excellence (e.g. universities);
- Information on financial incentives;
- Assistance with immigration issues;
- Support through overseas network of DIT offices, when interested in further global expansion;
Upcoming events in 2019
DIT & British Embassy Warsaw organize dozens of events annually (both in Poland & UK)
- Startup Games in Warsaw, 12-13 March, 2019.
- V4 Bootcamp for Big Data companies, first or second week of March in London or Edinburgh. Please get in touch if interested.
- Sensor City, Growth Package, Liverpool, Apply by 22nd of Feb.
- Midlands Engine for Fintech and SaaS companies, 4-6 of March, Birmingham, Please reach out to our Warsaw team by 15th of Feb, to apply (we cover accommodation costs)
- Follow Embassy Linkedin for updates.