Herding unicorns: UK woos 60 Aussie tech companies

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Joseph Brookes

More than 60 Australian technology scaleups have arrived in the UK for London Tech Week, Europe’s largest technology event. The cohort are being supported by the UK government, which wants to tap the Australian companies to bolster its own trillion-dollar-sector and attract more foreign investment.

The group is being assisted by Australian state trade agencies and the British Consulate-General with exclusive meetings and events tailored to their area of expertise and business stage, which the UK government says will expedite their expansion there.

London this week is hosting thousands of members of the UK tech ecosystem and around 60 Australian companies

British Consul General and Deputy Trade Commissioner Asia Pacific (Australia & New Zealand) Louise Cantillon said it is a mutually beneficial exchange for the like-minded countries.

“Our countries can leverage our different strengths to fast track the development of technology,” Ms Cantillion told InnovationAus.com

“Australia is world-leading in life sciences and has been ranked among the top five in biotechnology innovation for the third consecutive year. This is one among many reasons why we think there are countless opportunities for international collaboration.”

Ms Cantillon, who leads a team based across Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, said the British Consul General is available to assist all Australian tech companies looking to expand into the UK.

Australia’s London Tech Week cohort are gaining “intimate access” to UK contacts who can help expedite their UK expansion, and attend sessions on raising capital in the UK, establishing a presence and expanding there.

The group will also hear directly from Tech Nation, a national network for tech entrepreneurs, UK chartered accountants and law firms, and Telstra, which offers various technology services overseas.

The Australian companies join around 20,000 other participants at London Tech Week as the nine-year old event returns in-person for the first time since 2019.

The UK Government is using the event to position its country’s’ tech ecosystems as ideal locations for international investment because they are growing faster than the wider UK economy.

More than a third of the £89.5 billion investment into Europe last year was captured by UK tech startups and scaleups, according to the UK Government’s Department for International Trade.

Ms Cantillon said the UK technology sector has been valued at $1 trillion and is ranked fourth in the world for technology investment.

Adding more Australian companies to the local ecosystems could attract more investment and follows an Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement signed late last year which included a chapter on innovation for the first time.

“The UK and Australia are like minded countries. We share the same values, the same language and the same rule of law. Our bilateral trade and investment relationship has continued from strength to strength,” Ms Cantillon said.

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