The UK Government has extended a welcoming hand to foreign blockchain companies wishing to relocate to Britain by endorsing them for entrepreneurial visas as well as offering mentoring, funding and support programmes through partnerships with the private sector.
In its latest round of guidance notes, the Department for International Trade (DIT) states that its Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP) will provide specific help for overseas “deep technology”entrepreneurs and start-ups which establish its global business headquarters in the UK.
VISAS AND FUNDING
Before applying for an Entrepreneur visa, businesses will need to have received minimum approved outside funding of £50,000 from either a private source such as venture capital or a branch of the UK government itself.
One approved private source is Entrepreneur First (EF), billed as “Europe’s leading pre-seed investor in technology startups,” which has a long track record of developing seed companies in the blockchain and AI space.
Over the course of a six month period, EF supports technical entrepreneurs to build out a team, validate an idea, develop an initial product and raise follow-on investment.
With over 80 companies helped in total to date, EF currently has three blockchain-related companies on its active fledgling roster – decentralised corporate lender Creditmint, investment fund manager Prime Factor Capital, and crypto analytics provider Tokenanalyst.
Most analysts, however, are sceptical about the overall ability of such programmes to stem the “Brexit effect”. In the context of wider political uncertainty and the prospect of a potential ‘no-deal’ scenario, direct foreign investment in the UK has fallen by 90% according to some sources.