We asked 12 leading entrepreneurs ‘What would leaving the EU mean for London and the UK’s tech community?’


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“BUX has just started the application process for a 50K license with the FCA. A Brexit would mean cancelling the application in the UK and start applying for a German license. Together with the FCA license comes a ‘European passport’ (license to operate throughout the EU). If because of the Brexit the FCA license is not a license to operate throughout Europe anymore, it will be significantly less valuable.”

Nick Bortot | CEO, BUX

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“Nothing. While the UK might leave the EU, we will still be part of the European Economic Area (EEA) which will require the UK to respect the fundamental freedoms of the free movement of people, capital and trade. Over 30% of Growth Street employees were born outside of the UK, and we hope that, regardless of the referendum decision, we will continue to be able to recruit the best talent from around the world.”

James Sherwin-Smith| CEO, Growth Street

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“Flypay is pro-EU and we think other startups will be too. We have a (very) international workforce, an international ambition, and are tackling an international problem. We work with international suppliers and international partners. It needs to be easier to work with other countries, not harder.”

Tom Weaver | CEO, Flypay

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“If the UK exits the EU, London would lose a lot of talent to the mainland. Founders would see the UK not as the European Silicon Valley, but as a market to conquer from Paris or Berlin. US startups could even address the market as an East Coast dependent, reducing the size of London’s startup community.”

Adrien Nussenbaum | CEO, Mirakl

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“Leaving the EU is madness; however, the impact on the UK tech sector will be truly significant. The Government, The City, and Google systematically out-bid start-ups for tech talent by offering insane, unmatchable rates; without access to European tech talent UK tech start-ups will fail.”

James Booth | Co-Founder & CEO of Scoota.

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“Whether Britain remains in the European Union or not, London and the UK will have the capacity to do well. What will determine our prosperity is a function of how entrepreneurial, creative and human we decide to be as a society, irrespective of whether we are in or out.

Of Course the result is impactful, and the decision should be taken seriously. On balance, I think we should vote to say in but we can fail or succeed both ways. What determines our prosperity is more about who we are than where we stand.”

Dr. Ali Parsa | Founder and CEO, Babylon

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“Leaving the EU would be a massive blow to UK’s tech startups. Fintech, in particular, benefits from harmonisation of financial regulation, meaning that startups can passport across the EU without having to go through each national regulatory process. This saves years of time and potentially millions of pounds of costs. I’d hate to lose this.”

Tom Blomfield | Founder, Mondo

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“Without knowing under what terms we would leave the EU this is pure speculation. However, it does seem that leaving the EU will make it harder and less attractive for European talent to work in London. This would be a real problem for London’s tech community which has been massively enriched by Europeans. At Balderton 4/9 of our investment team are from the EU.”

Rob Moffat | Partner, Balderton Capital

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“London became Europe’s startup capital for the same reason that it was the continent’s main financial centre. It is open, international and investor friendly. Being an EU member with a strong talent and investment community made it the entrepreneur’s natural choice. Anything that puts this combination into question seems like a backward step.”
Nikos Moraitakis | CEO, Workable

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“As the European capital of tech startups, a Brexit would undoubtedly impact all sectors. As I look around our office, the talent that our London hub has attracted is unmistakable. The knock-on effect for potential investment could mean that technological progress is hindered, with smaller companies unable able to afford to experiment and push boundaries.”

Naimish | CEO, Show my Homework

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“Over the past 20 years the UK has become the tech start-up hub for Europe. Part of that success is based upon attracting specialist engineers from Europe to build British tech companies. Clearly, if the UK leaves the EU then we lose access that engineering talent pool, which could be a significant issue for the tech economy.”

Paul Sulyok | Founder & CEO, Green Man Gaming

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“As a diverse and multi-cultural country, the UK needs to continue to be a leader in the EU. We have access to some of the world’s greatest talent in Europe and restricting that, as well as the liquidity in capital which enables more entrepreneurs to succeed, would be detrimental across the board.”

Ted Nash | CEO and cofounder, Tapdaq

Artwork by award winning British Artist JJ Adams

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