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London Tech Week welcomes Central Asian innovators



London Tech Week is just around the corner and is inviting Startups and entrepreneurs from around the world to participate. We reached out to Kenan Poleo, His Majesty’s Consul General in Istanbul and Trade Commissioner for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, to get his insights into the dynamic world of technology and innovation at London Tech Week. As Europe’s largest tech event, London Tech Week gathers innovators, investors, and tech giants from over 90 countries, creating a melting pot of global tech ecosystems.

Kenan Poleo, His Majesty’s Consul General Istanbul Trade Commissioner for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Department for Business and Trade of the UK

1. What makes London Tech Week a significant event for tech professionals around the world? 

London Tech Week is the biggest tech event in Europe. All innovators, investors and tech giants come together during this week. With over 90 countries represented, this is where the global tech ecosystem intersects with the investment, innovation and talent.

This year, my team at the Department for Business and Trade is taking a delegation to London Tech Week, and have a special event tailored at companies from Eastern Europe and Central Asia on 12 June. We will be sharing key insights on how to scale your business globally by expanding your business in the UK and have a networking reception afterwards.

2. How does the UK’s technology sector stand out in the global arena, especially in comparison to tech hubs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia? 

Consistent growth across UK tech saw the industry reach the $1 trillion milestone this year, only the third country ever to hit this valuation after the US and China. The UK is home to over 85,000 startups and scale-ups and 170 unicorns – more than France and Germany combined.

This means, international companies who expand into the UK have access to nearly 450mn consumers in Europe, with the lowest corporation tax rate amongst other G7 countries.

On top of it, the legal system, business-friendly environment, R&D fundings and innovation mindset make the UK one of the easiest markets to set up, scale, and grow a business.

There is also a huge amount of investment coming to the UK from all over the world. Investors recognize the strengths of the UK’s tech ecosystem. In 2022, start-ups received over $31bn of Venture Capital funding, highest in Europe.

3. What opportunities exist for Central Asian tech companies looking to collaborate with UK tech firms during London Tech Week?

Companies will find opportunities to network and connect with investors and enterprises Additionally, as I mentioned before my team at Department for Business and Trade is organising a session on 12 June for the Eastern Europe and Central Asia delegation. It will cover the UK’s strengths as a destination for expanding, setting up an office in the UK, scaling up, R&D funding opportunities, financial liabilities, immigration schemes and going global.

The delegation will also have a chance to learn best practices from their predecessors who have already gone to the UK and have a successful business there.

There’s a lot to unpack, do not forget to sign up

4. What are some of the common challenges faced by tech companies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia when trying to enter the UK market, and what measures are being taken to address these challenges? 

The UK has excellent support services for businesses from Eastern Europe and Central Asia wating to expand their business. These services include assisting with the process of planning, understanding market dynamics, finding the right location to set up and choosing service providers that can really help saving time for entrepreneurs, especially if they’re running a scale-up with limited staff and resources while also trying to grow.

Our teams, both in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and in the UK, are here to understand your business needs. Based on this, they can provide an ecosystem report, information on regulations and make introductions.

Additionally, the UK Government has recently launched a new portal called “Expand Your Business”. It is a free online guide, a 2-minute step by step process to take you through the practical steps of setting up a business like opening a bank account and applying for a visa, in an easy checklist format.

6. Could you discuss any recent government initiatives aimed at fostering growth in the UK tech sector? How will these developments support collaborations with Eastern European and Central Asian countries? 

We welcome all innovative businesses who are ready to grow via the UK’s 1 trillion-dollar tech industry, through a variety of government funding sources available right now.

Just to illustrate, the UK recently announced £1bn of government funding for the next generation of supercomputing and AI research to establish the UK as a science and technology superpower.

There is a constant forward-thinking approach to regulation, encouraging digital innovation and competition in the UK, which has ultimately attracted the US venture capital funds including General Catalyst, Sequoia and Lightspeed.

London is now the top tech ecosystem outside of the US, using a combination of factors including early, breakout and late-stage funding, university talent, patents and unicorns and $1bn plus exits. This is ahead of other major cities including Paris, Tel Aviv and Beijing.

7. How can startups or entrepreneurs from the region get involved with London Tech week?

Easy – with one click! We are inviting all innovative companies to join our delegation at London Tech Week.

Sign-up here!

London Tech Week, attracts 45,000 attendees, over 5,000 startups, and 1,000+ investors, offering 75 hours of cutting-edge content. It provides an unparalleled platform for visionaries, entrepreneurs, investors, and enterprise tech leaders to connect, innovate, and accelerate tech advancements. Startups can network with leading VCs, CVCs, and angel investors, connect with fellow innovators, and meet thousands of enterprise tech leaders, while enterprise tech leaders explore trends in AI, quantum computing, cybersecurity, fintech, martech, cleantech, and more. 


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