Invitation to innovate

Amid the moans about skills shortages, and a general raging against the dying of the light in the UK IT community, it is heartening to know that the heartbeat of technology innovation is still strong.

Amid the moans about skills shortages, and a general raging against the dying of the light in the UK IT community, it is heartening to know that the heartbeat of technology innovation is still strong.

Not since the dotcom boom has there been a better time to start a technology business. The economy is on an even keel, people are starting to buy IT equipment again, and the habit of entrepreneurship is more embedded than it used to be, as demonstrated by the popularity of TV programmes such as Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice.

There is a temptation in UK IT to look with envious eyes to the innovation clusters of the US. But things here are not so bad. As Cath Jennings reports, business angels, the UK venture capital scene, the growth of the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market, and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, offer seeds of hope for budding technology entrepreneurs.

Investment is marked in mobile and green technologies, Web 2.0 and social networking sites, and information security. But, as ever, technological inventiveness is not enough: sales talent and managerial bandwidth are crucial. And market research to determine the real business opportunity and an exit strategy are vital.

Much of the lamentation around the state of IT the UK – led by colleagues who learned to code in the 1980s, and who would rather their offspring repudiated IT in favour of law or banking – diminishes in volume as one tunes in to the creation of new business value, in the form of start-ups and other new ventures. Computer Weekly extends an invitation to innovators to get in touch.

E-mail us at: innovation@computerweekly.com

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