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5 lessons I’m Taking Away From Denver Startup Week 2019

This week, for the first time ever, the British Government hosted an official session at Denver Startup Week– and I couldn’t have been prouder to be a part of it.

We brought together an all-star group of experts from business and government - including the lead pilot of the Red Arrows - to talk about what makes the UK’s tech and innovation ecosystem so GREAT (pun intended!) and how entrepreneurs from Colorado and beyond can benefit from it.

I was blown away by all of the speakers. Every one of them had such remarkable insights about leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurism – and each was so enthusiastic about doing business in the UK.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend the session, here are my top 5 take-aways:

1.) The UK fosters a collaborative, supportive environment – I kept hearing this time and again from our experts. Everyone agreed that the UK promoted inclusivity, opportunity, and collaboration – and in aggregate, these values created a culture of innovation that was unstoppable.

2.) London is – by far and away – the biggest capital market in Europe – No other city on the continent even comes close. Great opportunities exist for small and medium-sized companies in the US to go public on the London Stock Exchange, which works extensively with foreign businesses. Learn more here.

3.) Startups can learn a lot from the Red Arrows – We were fortunate enough to have Squadron Leader Martin Pert, the lead pilot for the Red Arrows, join us for our Denver Startup Week event. He shared some really valuable lessons on team leadership and risk mitigation. Something that really resonated with me was his advice to keep your appetite for risk the same, no matter what pressures or deadlines you face.

4.) London is fantastic (of course!), but there are other parts of the UK too – We heard from both companies and government representatives about the value of doing business across the entirety of the UK. For instance, did you know that Belfast is the number one destination in the world for US cybersecurity companies? Or that Scotland is building a robust tech ecosystem, attracting investment for Colorado companies? Each part of the UK has its own area of expertise, so it’s worth it to look beyond London when you’re thinking about expansion.

5.) There’s a lot of synergy between Denver and the UK - All of panellists agreed that both areas have great talent, a metropolitan mentality, the ability to ‘work hard, and play hard’, and enormous growth potential. There’s a reason why the UK is the largest foreign direct investor in Colorado, and why we’re seeing a steady stream of Colorado-based companies choose to expand across the pond. It’s because there are shared passions, values, and mindsets.

Overall, we couldn’t be more pleased with our inaugural participation in Denver Startup Week – and we hope to be a part of it again next year and beyond!


To learn more about the Red Arrows North American tour, visit: great.gov.uk/redarrows

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