By Glenn Shoosmith, CEO of BookingBug
As a founder, you don’t necessarily get to choose where your business is “born”. Where you find yourself when it comes to seeking investment, scaling and growing a team, is often a matter of chance rather than a matter of choice.
Unlike many in my position however, I did have the opportunity to choose. As a Brit living in Hackney with an American wife, there were many heated discussions about whether London was the right place to grow BookingBug – or whether we should follow the bright lights and VC money of The Valley. In the end the decision wasn’t a hard one.
Being based out of London as we started to scale globally, we couldn’t have hoped for a better position to take on the world. Now after going from Tech City startup to global SaaS success, I want to share some of the reasons being based in Britain has helped scale our business.
Opportunity on our doorstep
Silicon Valley is a great place to be if you’re selling to other tech companies or to startups. But it’s a bubble and it’s physically a long way from the financial center of New York, LA’s media hub, or Washington DC, the political heart of the US. However, London offers the network effect of being in one of Europe’s top political, financial, fashion and media centres. You’re right in the heart of it all. As a business we don’t just sell to other tech companies, we sell to retailers, to telcos, to banks and to government – and that is made so much easier by having all of the close connections that London brings.
Surrounded by diversity
You’ll find no Silicon Valley centrism here. When you start a business in Europe, you find yourself having to adapt to the nuances of adjacent markets from very early on. By contrast, if you start up in America, you have an enormous sprawling domestic market to exploit before you have to go wide. And that’s much harder to achieve when you’ve built your success around a homogeneous market.
The work that UK government has done in amplifying the signal of the UK’s tech success is unprecedented. There are still challenges ahead — but London’s Tech City is becoming second to only Silicon Valley (with a decades long head start) on the global stage.
That’s ringing endorsement. It also attracts the best technical talent toward the companies based there. Just look at the Exceptional Talent visa which welcomes the world’s greatest to our shores. But Government support doesn’t start and end there, the G-cloud framework means that tech businesses of every size are able to tender for government tech contracts, something we’ve been doing at BookingBug from day one.
Partners know it too
Every large tech firm on the global stage has some kind of presence in London. That’s just the way it is. This has meant we can build partnerships with the most powerful brands in the world – including Salesforce, Oracle and Microsoft -on our own territory.
It also means we are surrounded by a community of other entrepreneurs and fast-growing businesses where we can share experiences, advice and support.
This community of innovation isn’t going anywhere. The exits of each set of companies only inspire the next ones to thrive. In that regard, there’s every reason to believe that the best is yet to come.
Our digital appointment booking platform has been built to help customers connect the dots – between their customers, staff, resources and offices. In this brochure, you’ll learn more about our solutions and sector-specific use cases. Read the success stories from our customers in retail, financial services, healthcare and government and find out how BookingBug can help you achieve truly connected customer experiences. Download Now