What Brexit means for startups. version 0.01

By Krisi

The #EUref is worrying, it has happened and we are set for changeable times ahead. 

Regardless of in or out, a gamble with the economy isn’t healthy for any business, let alone a start-up. The early days of business do not offer the luxury of sitting and waiting for a calmer financial climate to come along.

We probed the makers, manufacturers and startups based at Makerversity. Asking them what Brexit, an exit from the EU and an unknown leap into the dark, would mean to them as a business? Makerversity has just opened in Amsterdam and many of the members we have based in London have said they’ll need to move there should the UK exit the European Union.

Avril O’Neil, Ding Labs

ONN Studio

“We’re at a crucial stage in developing our company and product. We want to launch with the EU being our main initial market and are also trying to make an effort to keep our manufacturing in the EU as much as possible. If we leave it could be potentially crippling to our progress, we’d have a huge barrier in reaching that market and forming relationships with manufacturers. I would also assume startups would have few funding options, as access to any EU based funds would diminish.”

Ursula Davies, Makerversity Managing Director

“I’ve just come back from six weeks in Amsterdam where we’re opening a new Makerversity site. As a business we’ve made the choice to expand to another European country because we believe it will make us stronger and we’re proud of that.”

“For me personally, being part of Europe is about being part of something bigger than just your own country and your own mindset. It’s broader, richer and it makes you ask more questions of yourself. Rejecting that feels like a step backwards, a choice to learn less from the world around you. Let’s hope the UK doesn’t make that choice today.”

Matt Batchelor, Instrument PD

Instrument PD

“All of our clients are either US or European multinationals or EU-funded startups. If they leave or fold because of us no longer being in the EU, Instrument would no longer have a business. It’s already been quiet this year and I don’t think we or many of our peers would survive a recession, especially given the cost of living and operating a design business in London.”

“What’s worse is that in three years of running a business I have yet to bump into regulations that make us do things that aren’t a good thing to do anyway, like environmental protection and safety procedures and bare minimum pay and conditions; EU ‘red tape’ is only a thing if (like most Tory funders) you are intent on running your business like a Victorian mill owner.”

“We got 99 problems but a socially-minded economic and political community ain’t one.”– Matt Batchelor

Nick Clement, Glug, Availo


“We believe the UK Design Industry is better in Europe. It’s a hub for all of Europe’s design talent. We want it to stay that way.”– Nick Clement

Fiddian Warman, Soda


“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell

Many of us understand what will happen should UK leave, but many still don’t. Let us know how you think you will be affected by outcome.


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Posted By Krisi
Managing Director