Lead Client Account Manager Sam Wood answers questions from the North East Times.
Tell us about Blu Sky
Dave Gibson and Jon Dudgeon formed Blu Sky LLP in 2007. We have a team of 19, our head office is in North Shields with a satellite office in Newcastle and we work out of coworking ‘accelerator’ spaces in London and Manchester.
How did you get into digital and start-ups?
We worked with the Ignite Accelerator programme, delivering workshops and processing the investment paperwork. We got chatting to the teams and learning of their frustrations and requirements and now we also work with the likes of Wayra and Rocketspace.
What are requirements of these kind of clients?
They expect answers and real time updates very often. Their founders perhaps don’t appreciate that many US investment terms and investment structures don’t play well with UK tax law, so guiding them on UK complications is essential.
Our service offering is also designed to fit their growth needs, from SEIS/EIS and investment readiness, through R&D tax credits applications and exit planning.
What kind of work do you do for your clients?
Claims for Research & Development and advice on the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme or Enterprise Investment Scheme. Forecasting is our other main area of expertise, plus all the traditional accountancy and tax work.
What are areas of interest at the moment?
We’d expect the explosion in fintech to reach further into every industry with the popularisation of Blockchain. However, despite Blockchain’s clear promise we don’t foresee significant short term impact. Often, the problems that Blockchain effectively solves haven’t been invented.
“We are seeing significant investment in the PropTech and EdTech markets in the UK. EdTech in the North East looks set to take off in the short term.”
In the mid term, the advent of “5G” mobile networks in the UK and growing IOT expertise in the North East are likely to result in the formation of some interesting Edge computing companies.
The creation of a new Chinese backed IOT accelerator “TUS Parks” in Newcastle in 2018 will allow companies access to the Chinese market and manufacture capabilities. Combined with further JEREMIE funding, the next ten years of North East Tech look pretty rosy.