Online start-up numbers may be soaring at present, but 24,000 new businesses registered on eBay does not mean 24,000 new start-ups, at least in the classic internet start-up sense.
How many of these so-called businesses are part-time jobs on the side rather than a new sales channel for already existing businesses? Furthermore, how many are a result of bricks and mortar businesses forced out of premises and onto the web in order to reduce costs?
Cottage industries are fine, but we should be celebrating the true UK start-up culture. For instance, the number of bona fide web start-ups clustered around Old Street Roundabout has jumped significantly recently. We’re starting to see US investors looking towards London for their next investments meaning that start-ups are competing on an international scale. We’re also seeing home-grown investors and entrepreneurs re-investing money from their last successful venture.
This is the true measure of the UK start-up industry rather than a news story generated from an eBay press release.
Andy Budd, Managing director, Clearleft, Brighton