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Startup Britain (startupbritain.org)
63 points by robin_reala on Mar 28, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 46 comments

AAAAAHH! Everything is a Headline! TOO MUCH EXCITEMENT!!! Can't parse any words. back Back BACK!!!!

At least, that was my four seconds on the site. Any survivors who managed to parse some content? Were there articles behind those links? Did those articles have any text in non-bolded, non-48px, non-shadowed text on a non-red background?

No. Most of it is trivial advice (for example; under "ideas" it links to TechCrunch) with links to other websites and lots of partner offers.

On one hand, it is a useful collection of links for entrepreneurs in the UK, and the offers, while not exactly brilliant, are worth looking at.

On the other it's not revolutionary.

According to the media there is going to be £1,500 of funding/incentives for startups as part of this project, but I haven't quite figured out if that is launched yet, or whether it means those offers and the other bits on the page (which is not very impressive if so).

I was talking to someone who is involved in this at some level and he said they are developing a mentoring scheme, events/tutorials and some awards/grants etc. But we will see.

Without the latter it's mostly a collection of "government backed" links and bluster.

According to the media there is going to be £1,500 of funding/incentives for startups as part of this project, but I haven't quite figured out if that is launched yet, or whether it means those offers and the other bits on the page (which is not very impressive if so)

From the news reports I've seen this is just the offers (e.g. the BBC say "New enterprises will be offered help worth about £1,500 in areas such as IT training and internet advertising."), so it's really not too impressive.

> According to the media there is going to be £1,500 of funding/incentives for startups as part of this project, but I haven't quite figured out if that is launched yet, or whether it means those offers and the other bits on the page (which is not very impressive if so).

Click on 'Growing' link. It is the offers on the right hand side, eg, £30 Adwords voucher.

I'm surprised this is from the government. It comes across as very spammy - like an affiliate marketing site. The copy reads like a content farm and most of the links are basically ads for different services. Surely the government can't be that strapped for cash?! Good idea, horrible execution.. (Though the site design is quite nice).

It has govt. backing (maybe funding, not sure), but this is from the private sector.

I am slightly suspicious of the fact that the people listed on the "About Us" page appear to have things to sell in this field. For example a link to a "startup kit" with a book by Emma Jones is linked from the first page.

It's fine if this is killer material and good stuff, and I hope it is, but it gives me pause for thought.

You remind me of the early 2000 Business Link companies. You rang up looking for advice, thinking it's a government initiative, but spend 70% of the time getting a hard sell for their web development sideline.

I met a BL person once with my then business partner to discuss bis-development ideas/options, and, yep, it was a total hard sell of the services; they couldn't "get" that our total capital was about £1,000 of our own money and there was simply no way I was going to pay £250 for X useless service ;P

My favourite part is Top Tip 4: Create a logo.

It doesn't matter if the band can play as long as they have a cool name.

I wish they had a step 5: "Profit"

The Lib Dems wanted one, but they decided to scrap that if the Tories scrapped their "Starve On The Streets" alternative as well.

The fact that all four "top tips" are actually ads for services (e.g. a logo design marketplace) is a bit slimy.

I'm hoping the designer was intentionally referencing the surreal "Top Tips" from UK comedy magazine Viz to undermine this effort.


Really undermines the whole initiative and makes a mockery of those in charge.

In the starting tab "Getting Inpspiration", I am certainly inspired

Still at least our lords and masters have taken the time to collate what 20 minutes with Google would have uncovered, as at the moment this just looks like big companies giving away freebies to get business.

Still any focus on enterprise has to be a good thing!

It's good they're trying, but it doesn't instill confidence, somehow, especially that picture of Cameron. Perhaps I'm being too cynical, but I'd put more confidence in the weekly pub meeting they have in Brighton than this.

That said, there definitely does need to be something. The US definitely has a better start-up culture. And culture is definitely the right word here. I'd say pg did have a point when he advised moving to the US. Not that I think any Brits should, but that a dedicated area/culture would be really useful in the UK, and something we lack now.

Not very "NoScript" friendly ... basically, nothing works (navigation, links) unless I disable it.

This always makes me pause to wonder if there's a compelling reason I should "temporarily" disable NoScript (which often then cascades to more sites I need to "temporarily" unblock), or just walk away. I often do the latter.

It's not just unfriendly, it's downright unpleasant. I first tried opening it on my phone, and Firefox basically locked up.

Some more marks against this embarrassment to my homeland:

* Lots of text rendered in low-quality jpegs full of artifacts (yet it still downloads a bunch of fonts)

* Stolen artwork (the MSN messenger and iCal icons are in there with no modification except they're grayscaled. And is that the old download.com logo I can see?)

* No expires headers

I haven't heard of any of the people behind this, although it is referenced on the Prime Minister's number 10 website[1]. It does look like a lot of the people involved have stuff to sell. Still, anything having a decent bash on encouraging entrepreneurship in the UK can only be a good thing(tm), for various values of good thing.

[1] - http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/topstorynews/2011/03/startup...

Agreed. Putting Cameron's rubbery, mock-serious face right there up front was not the best decision. Putting it in front of searing beams of light penetrating dark clouds is just taking the piss.

As owner of a web design company in the UK, I am so thrilled that one of their top tips is to suggest start-ups outsource that kind of thing, thanks UK Gov!

I'm disappointed not to see Business Link (http://www.businesslink.gov.uk) linked under the "best resources" section. As far as I can see it's a better, more thorough source of advice - certainly for issues such as taxes, company registration etc.

could have something to do with the "scandal" last year where the businesslink website was found to have cost some £100 million pounds to run for three years, making it something of an embarrassment (dare I say white elephant) to the government.

They link 'find an accountant' to http://www.find-uk-accountant.co.uk/

Where you can search for an accountant as an 'Individual' or 'Buisness' [sic]

The whole thing is largely just a bunch of links. I'd love to know how much it cost

Less than useless if you already know of several accountants in the area, including one which happens to be a former employer on your own curriculum vitae, and whom you already hire to do your books.

I wish the US govt did more to reach out to startups. This may be over the top but if I was young techie in Europe this would be extremely appealing to me. Is this tied into their startup visa thing?

Is the US a hostile environment for startups? It seems the US is the most friendly environment in the world for startups.

>It seems the US is the most friendly environment in the world for startups.

Totally disagree. The stakes for failing in the US are very high. The thing that currently gives the US the edge is that that's where so many startup minded people are.

excepting its immigration policy for skilled persons

Great, let me know what countries I can immigrate to as a highly skilled person with a profitable company. I've applied to Australia/New Zealand and Canada and been denied from all three. I keep hearing about how the US is unfair to not let immigrants in yet it seems clear our immigration policy is far more wide open than any other country in the world, and meanwhile it is very difficult for Americans to immigrate to the countries that are doing all the complaining. Name for me the country you are from so that I may read of your immigration policies that are more generous than those of America. I look forward to learning all about it. Thanks in advance.

Most countries are far worse than the US in terms of immigration policy for skilled workers. However, the US should make it stupid simple for talented techies to get work visas.

That look... Cameron is the new Jimmy Wales.

Or the new Jim Jones.

Why is Richard Branson flying?

Looks like your average quango set up to provide branded packaged partner junk to businesses for no real benefit.

actually some of it looks pretty handy, like the 'startup kit' for £20 including £30 in adwords

It's easy to get adwords credit - Google regularly send out coupons and last time I looked HSBC were offering £75 adwords credit for opening a business account.

Sign up for Google's local business centre and they'll send your £75 vouchers every few months. This is a complete piece of shit.

The HP startup kit is "not found"

Someone parodied it already: http://www.cockupbritain.org.uk/

The parody is spreading across Facebook and Twitter faster than the site it is parodying.

It's just the thing for those who want to continue living in a police state!

Probably the most evil picture of cameron i've seen. On that grey background of death......o dear.

That's the sun coming out from behind a cloud :-) It just looks like the Apocalypse

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