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UK Startup Ecosystem 2015 Review

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by Startacus Admin

UK Startup Ecosystem 2015 ReviewUK startup ecosystem review 2015

2015 has certainly been an eventful year for the UK Startup ecosystem.  To celebrate and draw a line under the past 12 months, we have put together this review of some of the key events, news stories, and successes which have taken place.

*It’s important to stress that this is not a complete rundown, it is just the humble musings of Startacus HQ.  We will be reviewing our list at the beginning of January 2016, so if there is anything that you think ought to be featured here, please email us via [email protected] and he will get right back to you.

To keep up to date with 2016 startup news, analysis, and discussions as they happen, sign up to our bi-monthly newsletter.


  • Seven innovative and disruptive startups were selected to take part in Fintech Innovation Lab’s 12 week programme at Level39 in London, Europe’s largest financial technology space.

  • A remote desert island in Fiji became the world's most unlikely location for a business incubator.

  • Regional entrepreneurs took centre stage in the UK’s general election debate and campaigns, with the Northern Powerhouse being a particularly contentious and divisive issue.  Read entrepreneurs James Codling and Paul Morovek’s thoughts on the matter.

  • The EU parliament confirmed that digital micro businesses would be subject to new VAT rules on sales of digital products and services within the single market.  It had been hoped that a minimum threshold at which the charges come into effect might have been agreed, but it didn’t happen.

  • Global telecoms giant Nokia, launched a controversial trademark dispute with a London startup over the use of the word ‘here’ in an app.  You can read our interview with the startup in question here

  • UK music service startup Shazam was valued at $1bn.

  • TransferWise closed series C funding round with $58m.  Read our interview with them here

  • Suzanne Noble was named our Self Starter of the Year after a public vote, winning a huge range of prizes for her business Frugl.   

  • The folks at cloud based accounting software FreeAgent gave away £5000 towards the tax bill of one lucky small business.


  • It was announced that Europe’s first cyber security accelerator would be launching in London later in the year.

  • Tech North, a new project supported by the government which is tasked with promoting 'digital entrepreneurship' across the North of England with a particular focus on the 7 cities of Newcastle, Sunderland, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Hull was launched.

  • Labour attempted to reassert itself as a ‘party of business’ with the then potential leader and shadow business secretary Chukka Umunna telling CityAM "I'm passionate about supporting a new generation of British entrepreneurs because it is part of who I am."  See what else the MP had to say here.

  • The Liberal Democrats launched a new initiative the ‘Entrepreneurs Network’ to engage liberal thinking entrepreneurs across the UK.

  • Entrepreneurial Spark (the world’s biggest free accelerator) opened its first space outside of Scotland, in Birmingham with support from NatWest.

  • A poll in The Telegraph reported that a survey of top UK entrepreneurs found a strong preference for a Conservative government with 73% of business leaders asked having concerns about the abilities of an Ed Miliband led Labour government.

  • Figures released by the Office for National Statistics suggested that growth in UK entrepreneurship was tailing off.

  • The Sunday Times announced The Maserati 100, a collection of accomplished entrepreneurs who are heavily involved in supporting the next generation of startup founders.  Startacus co-founder Alastair Cameron was one of those to receive the award.

  • The team at Web Summit announced two sister conferences planned for Belfast later in the year.

Startup Founders, Entrepreneurs & Creatives - Here are some of the reasons why you should join Startacus - The Self Start Society.

Brands & Startup / Business Services - Here are some ways you can work with Startacus to help us on our mission.

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Published on: 29th December 2015

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