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Lastminute.com founder Tom Teichman slams 'Brexit' doomsayers as he reveals positive outlook for UK startup scene

Lastminute.com founder Tom Teichman slams 'Brexit' doomsayers as he reveals positive outlook for UK startup scene / Tom Teichman

Super-investor and founder of Lastminute.com, Tom Teichman, has slammed "Brexit doomsayers," pointing out that London has always adapted fast to challenges it has faced in the past.

In the months following the UK's decision to leave the EU there has been growing unease from the industry around what will happen to the UK's startup scene when Britain leaves the Union. Teichman, however, has come out and said he is "not so gloomy about the effect of Brexit on UK tech."

His comments come after Wednesday's (7 December) parliamentary vote on Brexit, during which MPs backed a government amendment endorsing the prime minister Theresa May's March deadline for triggering article 50, which will effectively kick off negotiations with the EU.

Teichman, who recently co-founded startup incubator The Garage Soho with advertising legend Sir John Hegarty, has launched and invested in several tech platforms and products over the years. He is best known as the founder of Lastminute.com, but has also backed companies like Notonthehighstreet.com, Squawka and Simbasleep.

His musings come in response to a survey by London Metropolitan University, which interviewed 22 Tech City business founders and found that just five months after the Brexit vote, the biggest worry among them was a shortage of skilled staff.

Earlier this week tech investors warned the UK government that it must provide clarity over Britain’s future immigration stance to give firms confidence that they will still be able to source the best global talent.

Teichman, however, said he believes the key question is where precisely startups and young companies will go instead of coming to the UK "where the home language is English," and where there is clear and solid legal structure for businesses.

"English is the only real language of tech," he added, noting: "The UK is also the cultural and language bridge to America, which is the mecca for tech.

The entrepenuer seemed confident that the 'Brexiting' UK government will "bend over backwards" to support tech startups, and that it may actually be easier for the UK government to support tech startups once EU rules are no longer imposed on UK funding initiatives.

Teichman finished: "Are Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, Brussels, Milan, Dublin, Amsterdam really challengers in all this or even big enough or better? Of course not. London and UK is still the best place by a long shot.

"Let's stop naysaying about UK Tech's future. Its easy to do but it doesn't make sense. London has always adapted fast."

A recent survey from TechCrunch revealed that investors and startup founders are still divided over the potential impact of Brexit. Among the 70 influential people surveyed, startups were overall pessimistic about the climate in London following the vote, ranking the city a score of -4.8 for positivity, compared to the outlook in Amsterdam which was ranked at +6.5.

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