Aussie tech start-ups invited to become million pound poms

Australian start-ups are being encouraged to enter a global competition called the Million Pound Startup, which will award £1 million ($1.55 million) to a technology company willing to relocate to London.

The Million Pound Startup, facilitated by UK-based not-for-profit Digital Shoreditch, is designed to encourage young tech companies to set up operations in London in return for £1 million.

The winner will not only receive £1 million but will also receive support and assistance from competition partners including the Tech City Investment Organisation, and Schools for Startups.

Competition entrants will need to demonstrate they have the capability of using the £1 million equity investment to build a £100 million company based in London.

Entrant turnover must be less than £1 million per year and the company must have been trading for less than 10 years. The competition is open until August 29, with the final in December.

The £1 million is being sourced through a combination of angel funding, institutional capital and equity crowdfunding.

The investment process will be managed by Seedrs, a UK-based crowdfunding platform regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The competition partners and judges will work together to ensure the winning company is not only of a high calibre but successfully completes due diligence.

The competition also offers a small equity stake to the company or individual who promotes the winner. Promoters are required to pre-register on the Million Pound Startup website.

If there is a specific promoter registered to the winner of the competition, they will receive a 1% equity stake in the company.

According to Mayor of London Boris Johnson, London is a “terrific home” for tech start-ups and a world leader in the sector.

“This competition is an aptly innovative approach, which I hope will unleash even more of the entrepreneurial talent for which this city is renowned,” Johnson said in a statement.

Similarly, TCIO deputy chief executive Benjamin Southworth said in a statement the competition “perfectly demonstrates how London and the UK are open for business”.

“Entrepreneurs based here can benefit from the world’s most ambitious package of policies, businesses incentives, tax and visa support as well as the diverse and vibrant start-up ecosystem in Tech City,” he said.

This isn’t the UK’s first attempt to lure start-ups from other countries.

In January last year, 300 tech start-ups from around the world were invited to the StartUp Games, held at the same time as the London 2012 Paralympics, in a bid to attract young companies to London.

The UK government is also keen to boost entrepreneurship in its own ranks, particularly among young people.

In March last year, UK Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled the StartUp Loans scheme for budding entrepreneurs aged 18-24, who will receive loans of around £2,500.

Cameron said he hoped the initiative will lead to 30,000 additional start-ups.

Cameron told the BBC he wants young people to have the confidence and support to turn “that spark of an idea into the next global brand”.

The UK also saw the launch of StartUp Britain in March 2011. StartUp Britain, which is built around an online portal, delivers support and advice to start-ups.

This article first appeared on StartupSmart.

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