Minister denies lack of govt support for tech start-ups

Matt Hancock, the digital and culture minister, has denied that the government is not doing enough to support UK start-ups at the Customer Electronics Show.

Matt Hancock: UK tech firms are in 'constant battle to stay ahead'
Matt Hancock: UK tech firms are in 'constant battle to stay ahead'

The minister hit back after Gary Shapiro, the CES tech event's organiser, said it UK’s lack of support for start-ups at the show was a "source of embarrassment".

Shapriso claimed a British minister told him it was "frowned upon" for ministers to get approval to visit the annual tech show because it is based in Las Vegas, whereas it was easier for officials to visit South by Southwest in Texas.

Hancock told the BBC in Las Vegas today: "I don’t think that’s the case. There’s British firms all over. In fact I’ve just been talking to someone on the way up here testing some fantastic new technologies."

He added: "[Shapiro] is wrong on that because the British presence here is significant. This is one of many British shows around the world where we have a British presence but in a sense what it shows is that there’s a constant battle to stay ahead."

According to the Consumer Technology Association, 55 British companies are at CES this year, compared to 1,745 from the US, 1,314 from China and 248 from France. 

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