This is a truly amazing, must read article published by the US paper Politico. Check it out!
Well it seems that Germany has taken a strategic approach to startups and innovation and its paying off. Also Germany’s giant businesses are ready to invest in fledgling businesses.
There was a time in my life when I knew the UK’s venture capital industry really well but that was when it functioned effectively. Even then, the were hangers-on and parasites, like professional firms looking to take their cuts. But many of the people who were responsible for investment decisions had never actually run a small business themselves. Actually, I felt that the players were typically risk averse and looking for financial returns that were eye-watering – there was enormous inefficiency.
But there are two overall reasons why London is losing out to Berlin. Firstly, the UK does not have an effective strategy to promote startups and innovation. Secondly, the UK banks prefer to lend to individuals on credit scores, rather than support real innovation. UK banks have become over-centralized and staffed by bureaucrats with zero skills as bankers, so startups and innovation have been strangled.
Here are my strawman suggestions:
- George Osborne needs to promote massive fiscal stimulus for small-businesses, startups, innovation and more widely investment.
- UK banks need to cull the bureaucrats and those without experience outside financial services – probably a fifty percent cull is required to remind bank employees that customers come first.
- The Bank of England should strongly encourage major banks to set up new divisions to service small-businesses and startups, run by professionals with real relevant practical experience outside financial services.