Editor’s note: this is a sponsored post by UK Trade and Investment

London and UK in general is often a very solid stepping stone for Nordic/Baltic startups. For instance Trasnferwise, Kiosked & Foodie.fm are good examples of startups that have established their second base in the UK. They go there to put their product to the test on the global but yet local market, but what else can you squeeze out of it?

The Nordics are spoiled with strong governmental support for entrepreneurship, especially with initiatives such as TEKES in Finland. However if you start digging into what you can get out of UK, you would be surprised to find that actually it is rather substantial. For some industries it is actually very lucrative, such as in TV & Film and very soon – gaming.

We got in touch with Mark Leaver, a UKTI Creative Industries Sector Specialist, who walked us through some of the options:

Technology Strategy Board

This is an organization in many ways similar to the Finnish TEKES, and acts as an independent organization but using the governments innovation funding and they got plenty of money to spend – around £300 million per year.

There are various options that you could seek, such as grants, match-funding of up to 60% and even contests that are open to all startups in the EU. One such contest is actually running at the moment, offering £100k to the winner from one of the four categories: Next-generation social media analytics tools, Enhanced TV advertising, Innovation in hyperlocal advertising & Smart mobile advertising. So if your startup is in one of these categories, do check it out.

R&D Tax Reliefs

If you can claim any part of your development under R&D, then you can receive a tax relief, decreasing your tax bills. You can even get a tax credit in cash, from the HM Revenue & Customs. As an example, Leaver commented that “a lot of gaming companies have been using that. Like developing different interfaces such as gesture interfaces & biometric feedback in gaming.”

SEIS Support

As Leaver explained, the government in the UK saw that there is a need to boost the availability of Angel Funding, so they decided to create a number of ways to drive that. For instance the SEIS initiative allows high net-worth individuals to invest into SEIS funds at very favourable tax terms, virtually allowing them to write the investment off as taxes.

Creative Sector Tax Reliefs for Animation, High end TV and Gaming

This is perhaps one of the more interesting ones to our readers, considering how many gaming companies come from the region.

In its simplest terms the tax relief acts as a money back on your expenditure and currently can be up-to 25% but you can only claim this against 80% of your applicable expenditure and you have to fit certain criteria to qualify.

The relief for Animation & TV has already been confirmed and is in action, the gaming relief is said to follow, awaiting ratification through the European Union. For more information on the specifics, check this page out. Oh and when it come to the Film & TV industry, you can also benefit from this if you service the production of a movie.

If you have any questions, please let get in touch directly with Leaver or UKTI.


UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. They also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy. Their extensive network provides market and sector specific information, location and office space guidance and practical help (e.g. company establishment, taxation and hiring personnel) to get your UK operation up and running. Their services for Finnish companies are confidential and free of charge.

More information on UKTI – www.ukti.gov.uk and on London’s Tech City –www.techcityuk.com or please get in touch with Mari Aaltonen

Top Image Courtesy of Shutterstock // United Kingdom