High Tech. Start-up’s are booming in the U.S. with Boston, New York and Silicon Valley all very active and there are many U.S. start-up’s looking at establishing a European office. Could Lichfield a.k.a. Silicon Crossroads in Staffordshire dare to dream that it might host some of these start-up’s ?
Friends of mine established Leap the Pond some years ago in order to assist start-up’s gain a successful foothold from the U.S. to the U.K. and vice versa and also from Asia to the U.K. and America and vice versa.
A while back I wrote this blog
as I was asked to suggest a suitable European location for a U.S. software company that I knew.
Right at the end you will see mention of an accounting practice called the ” Double Irish and a Dutch Sandwich ” fully described here
which describes the tax savings achieved by Google and to be achieved by Twitter by having offices in Southern Ireland and Luxembourg.
Like it or not the ” financial parameters ” are going to have a significant influence on where a foreign company bases itself in Europe.
Lichfield can do no better than London in influencing the tax position of the U.K. mainland. The so called ” Silicon Roundabout ” in London will have to put up with U.k. Tax laws although it is interesting to note that Google also has offices in London and is taking more space in Silicon Roundabout:
Recognised ” High Tech. ” areas in the U.K. include: London, M4 corridor, Cambridge, Oxford and Silicon Glen, Scotland. There has been an effort to make the M42/M5 corridor High Tech. and also Telford hosts a number of High Tech. companies.
When you look at Europe from the U.S. you probably have a different perspective and London, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland and Barcelona in Spain all seem to figure high in Americans minds.
I.D.A. Ireland ( now known as the ” Silicon Republic ” !! ) is very active in the U.S. with ” salespeople ” based in Boston, New York and the West Coast yet it does not necessarily get considered despite having many high tech companies based there.
This video by the C.E.O. of IDA Ireland spells out a lot of the criteria
The Tax Environment
The Business offer ( Incentives to base your H.Q. there )
The Talent Pool
The Track Record
Proximity to other ” synergistic ” businesses.
Despite very tough economics in Ireland, or perhaps because of it, I.D.A. Ireland has got all it’s ducks in a row and does a massively professional job of getting inward investment.
Lichfield has to live with the tax regime, as does London.
The business offer would have to be very good.
The Talent Pool, whilst small is there.
It has little track record and not many existing businesses to be synergistic with. There is however a talent pool skilled in web design and S.E.O.
It has fabulous transport links.
It is a beautiful location, great lifestyle and has an opportunity with the ” Saxon Hoard ” to become much better known around the world.
With a lot of work and commitment Lichfield could become a High Tech base.
N.B. This post in the Guardian about The Lichfield Blog
shows the depth of the social media knowledge in the area.
Information about Tech City, London : http://www.ukti.gov.uk/investintheuk/sectoropportunities/ict/item/124866.html