What Brexit means for UK start-ups, 2Pears, and the 4.5 Blog
We admit it: this was not what we had hoped.
2Pears and the 4.5 Blog are – in essence – the products of the UK’s EU membership and the economic benefits it provides: together, we are two Swedes, one Finnish-Swede, and one American who were drawn to the UK for its cultural and economic diversity, as well as its position as the capital of the EU’s financial markets.
In short, we are gutted at the outcome.
However. Our remit remains the same:
Music 4.5 becomes more relevant than ever
This month, we postponed Music 4.5: The Politics of Licensing, as its content would be heavily affected by the Brexit outcome. As we look to the rescheduled event on 27 September 2016, we will be exploring the future of UK and European licensing within the context of ongoing negotiations with the EU, and lay the groundwork for which licensing model the UK should look to: the EU, the US, a combination of the two, or none of the above? Or should we, as many Leave campaigners advocated, feel free to write our own script?
Meanwhile, in New York on 25 October, we will be taking a more US-focused perspective on the ‘safe harbor’ and DCMA debate with Music 4.5: The Value Gap.
TechPitch 4.5 goes on
On the TechPitch 4.5 side we will continue to provide UK start-ups (and European start-ups looking to branch out into the UK) with opportunities for learning, networking and growing with the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Granted, that ecosystem – like the rest of the UK’s systems – is going to pass through a period of uncertainty and perhaps even turmoil. It is already looking likely that the pre-Brexit investment levels that have so heavily supported innovation and disruption within the UK are going to slow down, and possibly even stagnate. But this does not mean they are going to disappear. And if our five years of running TechPitch 4.5 have taught us anything, it’s the common success denominators of the start-ups who have gone on to great heights after coming through our door. To that end, here is:
Our advice for start-ups post-Brexit
Start-up investment doesn’t have to stall post-Brexit, but it does mean that investors will be more discerning. Here are our tips for how you make your start-up stand out amongst the crowd.
Make sure your proposition:
-Meets a specific need in the market
-Is easily scalable
-Shows a clear ROI for potential investors
-Has a clear strategy for growth
-Has a detailed exit strategy
-The pitch is everything
Having trained over 1,000 startups to pitch and shepherded over 300 startups through the pitch competition at TechPitch 4.5, we’ve seen a lot of pitches in our time. Here is what we think makes the best ones:
-Benefits, benefits, benefits
How will your start-up make a difference? What is it going to solve that nothing else on the market has yet solved? What will attract users? Why should anyone invest?
-Give us the ending first – in numbers
Business plans are not novels. Don’t spend too much time setting the scene. Start at the end; show up-front in clear numbers what you hope to achieve, then illustrate how you will do it, all in realistic and well-founded numbers.
–Don’t get bogged down in technology
When pitching, the technology is important in terms of its high-level usage, but don’t spend too much time on it. You can provide details later, if asked.
-Know what you’re looking for
Investment? Investors? Partners? Like-minded peers? Be as specific as possible.
It’s been a weekend of doom and gloom, but today the sun is managing to peek through the clouds. It’s a metaphor, we hope. But know that we will continue to provide opportunities for dialogue, innovation, growth and collaboration, discussion and networking as we all navigate this uncertain time together.
To apply to pitch at TechPitch 4.5 and see the full roster of events across our different verticals, please visit our website. To be a part of or to buy tickets for Music 4.5: The Politics of Licensing, please go here.