A leading start-up body has championed the flow of overseas talent into the UK’s technology sector today as new figures showed that nearly one in five UK tech firms had a foreign founder.
Some 18 per cent of UK tech companies are founded by at least one non-UK national, with such firms raising £8bn – almost a quarter of all UK tech VC investment – in 2021, according to a new report by tech growth firm Tech Nation, a body designated by the Home Office to endorse applications for the Global Talent Visa.
Chief of Tech Nation Gerard Grech said today the UK’s record level of tech job vacancies underlined the need for a continued flow of talent into the country.
“Even with our buoyant, currently well-funded and diverse ecosystem, the UK cannot afford to be complacent in our pursuit of international talent,” he said.
Nearly a quarter of the visas endorsed by the group have founded firms, Tech nation said, with its Global Talent Visa now receiving over 5,000 applications from 102 countries.
The UK’s tech and fintech sectors have repeatedly underlined the importance of a flow of talent from overseas, with a fast-track visa programme for fintech workers forming one of the key measures in the government-commissioned Kalifa review of fintech in 2021.
The Home Office came under fire from fintech chiefs earlier in April after announcing it would delay the scheme until August.
Fintech firms have been calling for a ‘scale-up’ visa to ensure they can tempt top talent from overseas, with the specialist visa one of the key recommendations of a major government-commissioned review of the fintech sector last year.