Government support has been key to healthtech surviving Covid-19
18 March 2021 | 0 Comment
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated societal level change at an unprecedented scale and scope. Working from home has gone from an occasional perk, to the new normal. Health technology has gone from a slow burn to a national priority.
Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital technology in the health and social care system – in part due to the government’s wide ranging regulatory and fiscal support for SMEs.
The assistance and support that the government has provided to UK startups like Kraydel have been a lifesaver for tech businesses. It’s meant we’ve been able to keep the doors open, and haven’t needed to tap into other support such as the furlough scheme. Instead, staff have been able to work more efficiently from home, freelance talent has been available on tap, and the business has been able to accelerate growth in a way that would almost certainly not have been.
The Future Fund, backing UK startups, has been the opposite of what many naysayers feared.
Instead of being bureaucratic and unwieldy, it’s proven to be fast, efficient and effective. Of course, this isn’t always the case with government, but the Future Fund has been helpful, and frankly brilliant.
When the announcement of the Future Fund came, many VC’s looked down their noses and were skeptical that it would work. They were concerned it would be over-subscribed, money would run out and would be inefficient. Having won the backing from our investors, we found the application process moved extremely quickly with terrific support from the Future Fund team. Whenever we had questions we always got through to a person, who in turn was always helpful and responsive, even when we made a misstep.
Government departments have proven dynamic and flexible without compromising on good diligence. One has to ask why they haven’t always been this accommodating and forward thinking?
This flexibility helpfulness has even extended to HMRC, so often a nemesis of small business, they have instead been proactive in support of business, including allowing the deferment of PAYE and taxes – meaning that many businesses didn’t have to dip into taxpayer funded furlough schemes.
Government departments like BIS and DTI have also gone above and beyond to support UK startups – promoting services at home and abroad. Through the DTI, Kraydel has participated in forums and made meaningful contacts from Singapore, to Portugal and the United States.
This hasn’t just been cursory introductions – it’s been structured and meaningful contact with potential customers, suppliers and partners in target markets. Supported by not only DTI staff but championed by British Ambassadors and representatives in country.
It’s easy to be a sceptic at a time when Brexit has meant that Britain’s role in the world is changing. But hats off to the governments’ commitment to protecting and positioning UK startups as being world leaders. This level of support now needs to continue beyond Covid-19 and Brexit, not just for the economic benefit to the UK but most importantly societal level impact that startups like Kraydel can make.