While the west coast of the US may be the locale most synonymous with the successful startup, however Prince Andrew, Duke of York believes the UK should not try to “emulate” its ecosystem, and instead stay true to its own.
Speaking to The Drum, the Duke, who is an avid supporter of entrepreneurship and former UK trade envoy, explained that his work illuminated the diversity of start-up scenes around the world.
“It’s very, very important that we deliver for our ecosystem, and that we don’t copy other people’s,” he said. “Most people would try and emulate what’s going on in the west coast of the United States – in San Francisco and [Silicon] Valley – but that’s not the UK. We do things in a slightly different way, therefore [we need to] take what we do and really turn that into something that is of value.
“The environment in which the UK operates is very friendly towards the start-up ecosystem. What we’ve got to do is reinforce in many different ways the value of starting a business in the UK and why you would do it here and not anywhere else.”
The Duke spoke to The Drum at the ‘bootcamp’ of Pitch @ Palace, a programme designed to get tech entrepreneurs in front of an audience of investors and influencers. Now heading into its third year, the scheme was launched by Prince Andrew because he “didn’t think that the venture capital world wasn’t being quite as helpful as it could have been”.
He added: “We also want to be in a position to encourage people to think about entrepreneurial activity as a means of getting in prosperity, not only for themselves but also for the UK. And the more that we have done [Pitch @ Palace], we have discovered that the number of ideas is increasing.”
A number of martech and media tech start-ups made it through the Pitch @ Palace bootcamp and have been invited to pitch at the final in St. James’s Palace on 2 November. These include Codec, an AI-led content marketing platform and OOH innovator Offer Moments.