Nicholas Hyett, Investment Analyst at Wealth Club comments on the Queen’s speech.
“As usual the Queen’s Speech was a mix of motherhood and apple pie, at least as far as the Conservative party’s core voters are concerned. However, there were a few titbits in there that might attract the attention of the UK start-up community and early-stage investors.
The commitment to opening up public sector procurement processes to smaller businesses isn’t new, but it’s a long held gripe among smaller companies. Public sector contracts are potentially highly lucrative, but tend to ping pong between a handful of large providers. The reduced competition isn’t good for taxpayers and could stifle innovation. Improved access to public contracts has been a target of successive governments though – so don’t expect progress to be quick or easy. Still, new technologies such as Opportuni’s public sector tending platform, sometimes described as the “tinder for tenders”, may help this time round.
The explicit commitment to improving innovation in agricultural technology will attract attention too. It’s an area where we’ve seen increased activity of late, whether that’s Hummingbird Technologies’ image analytics, which has the potential to enhance crop yields, Aramune’s improved animal feeds, or Muddy Machines asparagus harvesting robot called Sprout. Innovative start-ups here can not only prove lucrative in themselves, but have the potential to reduce carbon emission and reduce global food costs too.
Start-ups have roles to play in other areas too – from greener energy and transport to creating new higher value jobs across the UK. It’s a shame there wasn’t something more in the speech itself – but the broad brush strokes still provide plenty of space for government to support the UK’s smaller companies.”