UK government launches 'hunger games' to lure Australian startups to Britain

Image: Official poster Hunger Games

The United Kingdom government is encouraging Australian startups to enter a competition for a chance to win a trip to Britain and the attention of that country’s best entrepreneurial expertise.

The Startup Games, to be held in Sydney on February 28, will see Australian startups pitch to “top investors and mentors” with the company that attracts the most virtual investment by the end of the day nabbing the return flight to Britain.

“The Startup Games provide a fantastic opportunity to gain exposure and learn from top Australasian mentors and investors, as well as discover more about growing your business in the UK, with advice from local and visiting experts,” said UK Department for International Trade ANZ director general Nick McInnes.

The full day event will also see budding entrepreneurs hear keynotes from head of Sydney fintech hub Tyro, Andrew-Corbett Jones; founder of Europe’s biggest fintech hub Level 39, Eric Van der Kleij; and co-founder of London accelerator The Bakery, Andrew Humphries.

The games were first held in Rio de Janeiro for Brazilian startups during the Olympics last year. The Sydney event has been organised to encourage Australian startups to consider the UK as their next step for growth, as an alternative to the more popular US destinations like Silicon Valley.

“Some of the reasons why startups should consider the UK include low tax rates, access to finance and world-class hubs and accelerators,” said McInnes. “The UK offers a very friendly environment for Australian startups looking to grow their business internationally.”

One of the backers of the Sydney games is the UK’s Global Entrepreneur Programme, which works with non-British entrepreneurs to move their business to Britain. The programme boasts a team of what it calls “dealmakers” – 22 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors that provide support for startups looking to scale up in the UK.

The Startup Games winner will receive a return business class flight (on British Airways, of course) to personally examine the British startup scene, meet industry heavyweights and score advice on starting in the UK market.

Early-stage Australian startups can apply to enter the competition with a video pitch and business plan submission by February 3.

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