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From one entrepreneur to another – some advice on setting up your business offshore

I was recently reminded that the most recent Tech Nation Report recognised Edinburgh as the best location in the UK to establish a tech company.

My business partner and I have been on a steep learning curve to reach the point of Brainnwave becoming an established tech company, based in Edinburgh. What advice could we offer to others considering taking the leap and setting up here?

Where you found your business matters.

From access to talent to government support, the tax regime and connectivity, a wide range of factors can really influence the progress of your business.

We launched Brainnwave from Jersey originally – our entire senior management team lived there at the time, so it seemed logical.

However, we grew quicker than we anticipated and we needed to build our team. The right skills were hard to come by: running a tech business in a market lacking tech skills proved hugely challenging. It was a shame and a frustration, as the government had been offering attractive loans in order to encourage more digital businesses to the island.

Transferring our business headquarters to Edinburgh has been convoluted and expensive, occupying time and attention that should have been spent focusing on growing our network and attracting new clients through our unique data mapping platform.

We’re here now and reaping the benefits of being able to tap into a global market of opportunities and work with some top names in the Oil&Gas, Mining and Utilities sectors. Edinburgh really is a ‘superhub’ for tech companies and deserves its reputation. The universities here are excellent, and the Government accelerator system really supports growth. Brainnwave has an excellent team in place and we’re on the right track to achieving our ambitions.

Could we have foreseen our growth trajectory when we set up in Jersey? Probably not. Had we considered the long term benefits and risks of where we were headquartered? Probably not. If I could offer one piece of advice for those in a similar position, it would be to make sure you get a pre-approved plan from HMRC and a good tax advisor on your side before taking your first step to relocating.

And if you’re just starting out? Come to Edinburgh!

Brainnwave are helping change the way we do business.

The platform Brainnwave are developing is using data analytics to provide us with the insights that we cannot access today due to the complexity of the questions we need to answer. This will be a game changer for our global business.

Stéphane le Corre – Strategy & Commercial Development Director – Aggreko (case study)

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