UK-based P2P farming network WeFarm has picked up $200,000 from The Venture, Chivas Regal’s initiative to support the innovative social enterprise start-ups. WeFarm snagged the second-largest contribution from the $1 million fund – behind Conceptos Plásticos from Colombia – with entries judged on their ability to create sustainable change through a viable business model and the potential to scale.
The UK’s failure to keep up with digital advancements and invest in digital skills could hamper its ability to compete globally, according to research from Barclays. Britain ranks only fourth behind digital tigers Estonia, South Korea and Sweden in the new Digital Development Index, a measure of digital savvy in an economy. The survey uncovered a disconnect between UK policies to support digital engagement, which score well overall, and a lack of confidence in digital skills at an individual level among workers.
UK chancellor Philip Hammond is wrong to paint Softbank’s $32 billion acquisition of chipmaker ARM as an investment in the UK economy – it’s more like a punt on the semiconductor as the company’s sales are overseas and dollar-denominated. And the more realistic appraisal is simply that, in the wake of the Brexit vote, UK businesses are now cheap and more deals are set to follow, especially involving firms with substantial export sales and UK-based costs, argues John Colley, professor of practice at the University of Warwick, The Conversation.
Over 100 London tech start-ups have made enquiries in Berlin about moving operations to the German capital following the Brexit vote, says Cornelia Yzer, Berlin Senator for economics, technology and research. And, speaking at Fintech Week 2016 in London, she encouraged others to look to Germany to grow their businesses. “Berlin is a boom town for companies focusing on fintech, ecommerce, mobile apps,” she said.
Are regular apps on the way out? We ask the question because while apps still eat up those consumer minutes on mobile devices, that chunk of time is taken up by fewer and fewer apps – a regular smartphone owner now spends close to 90% of their app activity on a mere five of them, according to Fiksu metrics. Plus, the volume of top 200 free iOS apps downloaded slipped 7% in April, and was down 11% year-on-year.
Can crowdfunding be used to gain Brexit revenge? #BrexitJustice thinks so, and has set up a funding campaign aimed at launching legal action to prosecute dishonest Brexit politicians and ‘bring integrity back to British politics’. Organisers are looking to raise a £100,000 minimum to get the show up and running and to formerly engage a batch of barristers, solicitors and QCs who are willing to work at a fraction of their normal fees, or pro bono.
The UK is a strong innovator and its innovation performance relative to the EU has also been on the rise between 2008 to 2015 – it was 6% above the EU average at the start of the period and was more than 15% higher in 2015, according to the latest European Innovation Scoreboard published by the European Commission. The UK’s best attributes relate to open and attractive research systems and human resources, says the report.
Cool auto maker Tesla has installed its Autopilot hands-free driving feature on some 70,000 cars around the globe. But now it’s time for hands-on as Consumer Reports is asking the company to disable the tool until safety can be improved. “By marketing their feature as Autopilot, Tesla gives consumers a false sense of security,” warns Laura MacCleery, vp of consumer policy and mobilisation for Consumer Reports.