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Top tech stats: US acquisitions, startup office costs & more

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Welcome to your round up of some of the past week’s most interesting surveys, statistics and reports relevant to those involved in the UK tech industry.

This week, we have statistics relating to acquisitions made by US companies, artificial intelligence, the cost of office space to tech startups and the best places to be a social entrepreneur.

US acquisitions

New research from Mind the Bridge and Crunchbase has found that 3 out of 4 startups are being acquired by US companies.

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The report, ‘Startup Transatlantic M&As. US vs EU’, tracked approximately 6,000 startup acquisitions by US and EU companies since 2012.

Of these deals, 82% have been completed by US companies, leaving only 18% of acquisitions being completed by EU firms.

Among the top 15 global acquirers, 70% were found to be Silicon Valley companies.

Artificial intelligence

Research commissioned by IP EXPO Europe shows that 37% of respondents think that artificial intelligence (AI) will be a key technology theme.

However, the survey of 500 IT departments of UK businesses also discovered 32% of respondents claim that they are concerned about AI replacing human jobs overall.

Some 19% admitted that they are more worried about their job being overtaken by a robot than they were 12 months ago.

Additionally, 22% of respondents also voiced concerns about AI providing another route for cybersecurity attacks.

However, 21% of those surveyed said that although AI may not be relevant to their business right now, it may be in the future.

Another 18% saw the advantages of increased machine learning technologies, but claimed such initiatives were “too expensive” to implement immediately.

Tech startup costs

Research by Knight Frank found that costs for tech startups in London are the highest in the world.

Knight Frank’s 2017 Global Cities Report examined the cost of leasing and fitting-out 600 sq ft of office space in the tech districts of the world’s leading cities.

Demand for space in Shoreditch, London, has seen startup office costs soar, with Knight Frank calculating 600 sq ft of office space to cost $66,706 per year – the highest of any creative district in the world.

This is followed by Brookyln, New York ($62,736) and Mid-Market, San Fransisco ($61,680).

James Roberts, chief economist at Knight Frank, commented: “As we head towards Brexit, tech start-ups are the sort of firms the UK will be looking to for future growth. So it is disappointing to discover London is such an expensive place for them to rent business space, at least if they want their own offices.

“London needs to be more affordable for tech firms if it wants a home-grown Google or Twitter,” he noted.

James Nicholson, partner at Knight Frank Tech, added: “This study illustrates that co-working has an important role to play in supporting the next generation of innovative tech companies early in their life cycle.

“These businesses are highly mobile, and mature markets such as Shoreditch and Brooklyn – having worked so hard to cultivate tech clusters – risk being overtaken by other locations if they cannot provide affordable workspace.”

Social entrepreneurs

According to a poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the US, Canada and the UK are the best countries in which to be a social entrepreneur.

The survey of almost 900 experts in the world’s 45 biggest economies also found that, whilst the US, Canada, and the UK are the best nations for the industry, Turkey ranked worst.

Also ranking poorly were Venezuela, Brazil and Ireland, where support is lacking for social enterprise.

Despite the nation ranking highly, Brexit was also identified as a risk to the UK entrepreneurship.

Some 85% of the poll’s participants reported to be witnessing growth in their own country.

However, nearly 60% of experts mentioned that social entrepreneurship is being hampered by a low understanding of the sector, difficulty raising funds and a lack of government support.

Mark Norbury, chief executive of UnLtd, a foundation for social entrepreneurs, commented: “The UK has been a pioneer for social entrepreneurship, thanks to a vibrant movement and strong Government support, helping it to become one of the top three places in the world to be a social entrepreneur,”

“Social entrepreneurs are passionate about solving social problems, but they are also committed business people – so to sustain this level of growth and momentum they need continued support from all parts of government, business and wider society,” concluded Norbury.

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