South West tech start-ups rise by 8 per cent in 2018

The number of new tech companies being set up in the South West rose by 8 per cent in 2018 according to new analysis by RSM.


In total, there were 578 new software development and programming businesses incorporated in the South West in 2018, up from 534 in 2017.

Nationally, there were 11,864 new tech firms established during the year according to data held by Companies House, a 14 per cent increase on the 10,394 companies set up in the previous year.


The data also revealed growth in tech company incorporations across every region in the UK with the exception of Scotland where the number of tech start-ups dipped slightly by 4 per cent and in the North East where the numbers remained flat.


Commenting on the figures, Ben Bilsland, a technology specialist at RSM in Bristol said: ‘Given the current economic uncertainty, it’s fantastic to see that tech start-ups across the South West have continued their upward trajectory. Particular hotspots include the clusters around Bristol, Bath, Bournemouth and Exeter.


‘These numbers show that entrepreneurs are continuing to innovate and venture capital, private equity and traditional funders are still lining up to commit funds to the right projects.


‘Tax incentives such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme, R&D tax credits, video games tax relief and the Patent Box regime are all playing their part in helping to fuel this growth.


‘The challenge for start-ups, particularly in the tech space is to develop at speed and to scale-up fast. There can be a high rate of failures as projects can often get overtaken by new technological innovations or better resourced competitors. The South West’s combination of highly skilled workforce and supportive eco-system help’s businesses get the formula right and find the right backers. This success can be very lucrative.’


In order to support the growth ambitions technology in the South West, RSM has recently been announced as a headline sponsor of this year’s Go:Tech Awards, which celebrate the pioneering companies and individuals that are revolutionising the sector. RSM is also a sponsor of LAUNCH:Great West, which recognises the South West as a centre of world leading academic expertise and innovation excellence, with thriving activity across Life Sciences, Advanced Engineering, and Quantum Technology.

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