Survey dispels myths of running a tech start-up

Written by NTN staff

A UK survey of more than 100 founders of tech businesses uncovers the main challenges that face entrepreneurs as they attempt to get their business off the ground.

A new survey conducted by Studio Graphene in partnership with City Road Communications reveals how the reality of running a technology business compares to the expectations entrepreneurs had before starting their venture. London’s tech scene may be buzzing and healthy overall but with 47% of UK startups failing within three years, the research shows the pressures and obstacles that lead to the demise of many tech companies.

The study found that over half (52%) of tech startup founders it took much longer than they thought to launch their business and 15% also said it was “far more expensive” than they predicted.

Almost a quarter (22%) found the experience more emotionally draining than they believed it would be, with a further 20% saying they felt isolated when starting their new business. In total, one in six (15%) startup creators found it more difficult to adjust to the life of running an early stage business than initially expected.

Acquiring customers once their product launched was the biggest obstacle cited by startup founders – 33% of respondents said this was a problem. Moreover, 15% said they struggled to find support to build the technology itself.

London’s tech start-ups receive a significant amount of attention, not just within the UK but also from a global audience. Dubbed Europe’s ‘digital capital’, there are now187,427 tech companies in London that employ 1.19 million people and have a combined turnover of £285 billion.

The exponential growth of London’s tech sector has largely been driven by an influx of new startups – it is reported that a new tech business is formed every hour in the capital. However, despite all the praise the sector receives, little focus is placed on the challenges and pains experienced by the entrepreneurs behind these new businesses.

Ritam Gandhi, Founder and Director of Studio Graphene, commented on the findings: “From our experience, it’s vital tech startups remain focused on their core proposition and ensure the product functions as well as possible – thereafter they can adapt and evolve based on customer feedback, which will set them up for more long-term growth.”

The survey was carried out in April and May 2018.