News

Tech startups favour Conservative government and pick hustler, hacker and hipster tags for leaders

3 min read

06 May 2015

Former editor

Research compiled by venture capital firm Episode 1 Ventures on the eve of the 2015 UK general election has indicated which way entrepreneurs at the helm of young technology companies will be voting.

The findings suggest the technology sector is “overwhelmingly supportive” of a Conservative government on the back of record investment levels during the first quarter of 2015.

Episode 1 Ventures found that 85 per cent of its 1,500 respondents think the last government has “fared well”, while 82 per cent stated their startup business would be “better off” under Conservative rule rather than Labour. A total of 75 per cent see a Labour government as one that would have a negative impact on investment levels.

Statistics released by London & Partners at the end of 2014 found that technology companies across the UK attracted record levels of venture capital funding in 2014, with London-based tech firms securing more than 65 per cent of the total. Technology firms in the capital banked in excess of $1.4bn in venture capital financing during 2014, double the amount raised in 2013. Taking into account technology companies across the rest of the UK, VC investment rises to more than $2.1bn.

The coalition government has also overseen an extension to the tax-efficient Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and creation of a number of new Enterprise Capital Funds. The new British Business Bank, led by Vince Cable, has also injected funds into alternative funding platforms, while the Angel CoFund has partnered with British venture capital firms to boost the size of deals.

Commenting on the findings, Episode 1 Ventures founding partner Damien Lane said: “The tech sector is a key driver of economic growth and is of critical importance in protecting the nation’s future prosperity.

“It has come a long way over recent years but it’s clear that startup founders, who give everything to build a company that can compete on the global stage, see a Labour government as a threat to their success.”

Read more from our general election coverage:

As an extension to finding out which way technology entrepreneurs would be voting, Episode 1 Ventures also asked each to identify whether they saw party leaders as “hustlers”, “hipsters” or “hackers”.

Ed Miliband was found to be part-hustler (40 per cent) and part-hacker (33 per cent), while David Cameron was just a straight-up hustler (55 per cent). Respondents decided Nick Clegg was a hipster (59 per cent), Nicola Sturgeon a hustler (51 per cent) and Nigel Farage a hustler as well (52 per cent).

Separate recent research by DigiHub and 72 Point attempted to find out what the outcome of the general election would be if only sentiment from Facebook and Twitter were used. It revealed the next government would be a right-wing coalition on Facebook and a left-wing coalition on Twitter.