Tech startups defy pandemic with strong growth - Start Up Gazzete
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Tech startups defy pandemic with strong growth


A significant majority of Scotland’s tech startups grew up during the pandemic, defying some predictions that many would be forced to cut back or even close.

The Scottish Startup Survey 2021, led by the Engage Invest Exploit (EIE) team at the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Center, has revealed that 68% of startups said they grew during the pandemic, and only 11% said they were contracted.

Almost three-quarters (72%) said they hope to emerge from the pandemic in a stronger position, with just 7% anticipating a drop in business. A fifth (21%) were unsure, while 59% said they had to turn after the pandemic.

The findings of a poll conducted by Turing Fest last April in the first weeks of the first lockdown revealed great concern about the survival prospects of tech companies.

The latest survey by EIE questioned companies on topics ranging from growth prospects, investment context, government support, hiring, plans to return to the office, and wellness and mental health.

Despite the relative health of startups, the majority of respondents were unhappy with the level of support from the government.

A spokesperson for EIE21 said: “ While only a third of surveyed startups secured investment rounds during 2020, government support was crucial for many and overall it is nice to see the overall confidence of the founders in exiting. the pandemic in a stronger position.

“What was also reflected in the survey was how the vast majority of startups are targeting investors outside of Scotland, an area that remains crucial to the success of Scotland’s tech ecosystem.”


Callum Murray, CEO and founder of Amiqus, an EIE alumni company that participated in the survey, said: “After making the decision from the beginning not to fire any of our team members, we were one of the companies in the survey that showed significant growth in the past year.

“We will look to leverage our growth not only in terms of income, but also in how we can continue to care for our people and help make flexibility and well-being at work the norm.”

Regarding the investment context:

just over 1 in 3 startups completed an investment round during the pandemic.
26% said they were targeting angel investors, 31% targeting venture capital firms and 43% both.
92% of those surveyed were targeting investors outside of Scotland.
Zoom’s meeting culture has made contacting investors easier according to 57% of startups, with 14% saying Zoom calls have made contacting investors difficult, and 29% did not notice any changes .
Regarding government support:

60% of startups said they had received government support in the past 15 months, and 40% said they had not had access to government support.
When asked, “Is the government doing enough to support startups?” Only 35% said yes and 65% said no.
On how the pandemic has affected hiring plans:

65% of the startups surveyed said they had continued hiring during the pandemic, and 35% said they had stopped hiring.
38% said the biggest impact Brexit is having on their business is hiring and retaining people.
When you return to the office and work remotely:

63% of startups plan to return to the office this year.
93% of the startups surveyed said they would continue to operate a remote work model.
Well-being and mental health:

75% of those surveyed said that the well-being and mental health of their team has been one of the biggest challenges posed by the pandemic.

63% of startups have implemented measures to address the well-being, physical and mental health of their teams in the face of the pandemic.

Author avatar
Joshua Smith

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