SOS: Save Our Startups

BY Gabriela HershamApril 6, 2020

Save Our Startups

Dear members, Ambassadors and friends of Huckletree,

As we know, over the past decade our country has seen a huge entrepreneurial boom which has created hundreds of thousands of jobs and is unparalleled in its value-creation and contribution to our economy. During this time, we have also seen a huge number of innovative companies grow from early-stage startups to critical drivers of our economy. As of the beginning of the year, the United Kingdom had created 77 unicorn companies, who in turn have created wealth across the country and transformed quality of life for so many of us. This number ranks us the third most important digital economy in the world, just behind the United States and China. 

And yet today, the ecosystem that we all passionately contribute to is facing an existential threat. Whilst we are thankful for the initiatives announced by the UK Chancellor, the reality is that they barely move the needle for our industry. As such, in order to guarantee the continuation of our ecosystem as well as our country’s future as one of the most important digital economies, we must act now. 

We urgently need a lifeboat for everyone in the ecosystem, not just those with the loudest voices or deepest pockets. Since 2014, we’ve been fighting on behalf of our community for fairer funding to ensure underrepresented founders and diverse founding teams can break-through glass ceilings. My fear is that without industry-wide support irrespective of company size or valuation, all of that talent and all of that hard work will come undone. 

We are a Founding Partner of Crowdcube’s Save Our Startups campaign, which is petitioning  the government to develop and announce a lifeline package for our industry. The campaign suggests three main areas of support: (1) an equity based liquidity package suitable to save startups at risk (2) fast track payments to startups from public funding schemes and (3) a change to EIS, SEIS and VCTs to stimulate private equity investment into startup and high growth businesses. We hope that these resources and initiatives would serve to help you and all of our members survive this difficult period. 

We are writing here, not only as founders ourselves, but as part of the community of founders we’ve formed across the Huckletree network. We’re writing because we want all of our 2000 members and 105+ investors to be a part of the future change. We’re also writing as parents, looking at the next generation of entrepreneurs and wanting to ensure that our children’s generation will have the ability to change the world as we do.

Please take 5 minutes to read the open letter and add your support here. The more support, the more likely this is to result in governmental action. Now is the time to be braver, together. 

Stay well and healthy, 

Gaby and Andrew

AUTHOR

Gabriela Hersham

Founder and CEO