Innovation is Technology – Myth 1
As an Authorised Endorsing Body, we talk with entrepreneurs on a daily basis and hear some exciting ideas and business plans. The conversation invariably also touches migration related issues and some misconceptions around the particular UK Home Office migration programme. Over a period of time we realised that we were repeatedly encountering some common myths about the innovator programme. We thought of addressing some of these myths through this blog series. So here is myth number one –
Myth 1 – Innovation is Technology
“To meet the UK Innovator Visa Innovation criteria, it’s all about Technology” is the resounding remark we hear repeatedly from potential entrepreneurs who wish to migrate and set-up and invest in their business in the UK.
This first myth – around which this blog is focused – is that for someone to qualify the Innovator category, they have to come up with another Facebook/Amazon kind of Earth- shaking marvellous technology idea. It would be great if it happens, but who can crystal ball gaze which idea will go on to become a unicorn? Right in the beginning we decided that, as an endorsing body, we would be sector agnostic and technology would not be the only word in our dictionary when it comes to judging businesses for innovation. With extensive experience in the SME corporate finance space, at Consilium we know that to be innovative does not only mean technology as an end goal – rather, technology can be an enabler for a new business process or may become the power behind a traditional business idea by opening new markets and supply chains. We keenly look at processes and products where innovation is the outcome of the application of ideas to bring down cost, beat competition, or bring in efficiencies that give industry wide advantages and expand the market itself.
To give a flavour of what we are saying, highlighted are a couple of cases where technology, even though important, is not solely what innovation is based on –
- A recent business idea that we are discussing with an entrepreneur, is an electronic media product where the innovation originates from the fact that it is targeted towards a particular community diaspora in the UK; a pioneering effort that practically faces no competition and lends an immense scale up opportunity.
- Another product is a unique DIY security kit that waters down complicated IoT issues and caters perfectly to the needs of small households. More than the tech, it is the experience of the entrepreneur that brings in the innovation in this case.
Look out for more Myth busting blogs that are to follow in this series. We look forward to your views. Do write to us on our email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author – Kapil Bali is the Commercial Director at Consilium