The rise and fall of start-ups

As we are aware, the market is hugely competitive now with thousands of start-ups in London aiming to make a name for themselves. Over the years, I’ve seen start-ups struggle and fall against fierce competition and other start-ups achieve significant growth and success…but what is the key to being successful?

Throughout my years in Tech Recruitment, I’ve worked with several exciting London start-ups, helped teams grow, seeing companies make the transition from early stage development to sustainable growth. The market has now become quite saturated in numbers; however, the start-up scene is very popular and continues to grow year on year.

Between January and June 2016, 109,443 start-ups were started in London, that’s a third of the countries overall total and equates to more than 600 per day!

The amount of investment obviously plays a part in the progression and, in turn, the success of a start-up. However, it definitely isn’t the be all and end all. I’ve seen first-hand that companies can get huge amounts of backing and still fail, whilst some companies that struggle for large investment and keep their whole operation small, go on to have great success.

Having a diverse team has been proven to bring about more success for start-ups. Companies with a female founder performed 63% better than investments with all male founding teams. The ‘women in tech’ movement is getting a massive push now and the stats show it’s for good reason.

Being a CEO/Founder of a start-up is hard (to say the least). One factor a successful start-up needs is a founding team that has a lot of determination and resolve. We find a lot of start-up founders stress the importance of not going at it alone. Both Rich Waldron ( and Tessa Cook (Olio) have highlighted the same point, saying the relationship they have with their co-founders is a lot like a marriage and definitely something that they both felt played a major part in their success.

So, given that start-ups are on the up, what is it like to work for one? A lot of start-ups do things differently. One common trend is the importance put on having the right work culture and work/life balance. I joined a start-up recruitment company (RevTech) and have never looked back. One of my favourite factors, and one I hear a lot from developers, is the fact that working in a start-up provides one of the best and most satisfying working environments. Many employees feel a real sense of value and achievement in their work and are given the opportunity to really make a difference. I see this frequently in the IT market with product based companies. These companies tend to have a lot of cool and unique ideas that break the mould of their corporate counterparts and I personally love supporting the growth of these organisations. Working in a start-up keeps you on your toes, gets you thinking and most importantly keeps your work fun!

The start-up mentality really motivates employees to properly understand the bigger picture of what their organisation is working towards. I absolutely love the idea of waking up every day and coming into working knowing I’m making a real difference to the company.

I believe London will continue be an expanding market for start-ups and a real competitor of Silicon Valley. We have the biggest tech hub in Europe and have amazing people who want to make a difference in the world.

I look forward to seeing more and more interesting start-ups in London and I’m excited about what’s in store for 2017!

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