These are the results of the first post-Brexit survey of tech startups

 
Lynsey Barber
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Tech startups are still ambitious in the face of a weaker business climate (Source: Getty)

Tech startups in the UK are worried that the environment for doing business will worsen after Britain's vote to leave Europe. However, they are largely ploughing ahead with plans for growing their business despite the uncertain climate.

Nearly three quarters of tech businesses believe the environment could get worse, according to the first snap survey of startups post-Brexit.

However, more than a third are taking a "business as usual" approach and only 22 per cent expect to scale back their ambitions for growth, the poll of more than 1,000 people working in tech by Tech City UK.

Read more: Here's how the UK tech industry feels about Theresa May as PM

The initial results also found just under a third planned to slow down hiring of new staff and more than half planned to raise capital from outside the UK over the next year amid likely negotiations regarding the way Britain will leave Europe.

The survey also highlighted the key concerns for tech startups – access to the digital single market and clarity on EU residents' ability to work and live in the UK. Over half of respondents were concerned, saying they believe it will be harder for them to attract and retain talent as a result of Brexit.

"Many workers, entrepreneurs and investors in the digital economy wanted to remain in the EU," said Tech City head Gerard Grech.

Now, as the initial shock at the result starts to fade, an air of pragmatism is settling in. I am also detecting cautious optimism as the possibilities of life after Brexit begin to come into focus.

The tech industry body is meeting with the department for culture media and sport and the government's national technology adviser Liam Maxwell, along with other industry groups to discuss the future of the digital economy.

Read more: Here's how UK fintech's rallying action in a post-Brexit no-man's land

Despite the notes of concern in the immediate aftermath of the shock result, there have since been indications of the "keep calm and carry on" approach turning into a more positive optimism.

The fintech industry is rallying a plan of action to keep momentum behind the industry, while the industry is also cautiously optimistic that tech will continue to be at the top of the government agenda under Theresa May.

“Start-up companies need to be adaptable and responsive to survive so they are well placed to make the most out of the UK’s changing relationship with the EU," said Balderton Capital general partner Suranga Chandratillake.

"The best companies will always be invested in and I expect that they will come through this challenge even stronger than before.”

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