Posted on February 17, 2017 by staff

Entrepreneur says Government needs to be more tech savvy


A Manchester entrepreneur says the Government needs to be more agile when it comes to dealing with the tech sector.

In particular Jack Barmby, CEO of Bury-based software expert Gnatta, says help is urgently needed to bring experienced developers together with tech start-ups.

The 25-year-old has turned Gnatta into a £2m turnover business since launching it at university in 2012 but told BusinessCloud: “Most people with ideas aren’t developers and most developers aren’t businesspeople. We need each other.

“One side doesn’t have the necessary commercial knowledge and the other doesn’t have the necessary technology knowledge. But bring the two together and you get an instant reaction.

“This is where the Government comes in. They do listen but it’s slow. The speed at which the technology scene is moving is outstripping the speed at which the Government can respond. The things they do should be less time sensitive.

“I’m not a politician but I think the Government need to move with the times. There’s lot of advice available for funding, tax credits etc but there’s precious little if you’re a tech company and want help from a developer.

“If that happened I think the UK’s tech sector would grow exponentially.”

Gnatta, which was one of 10 winners in this year’s Tech North Northern Stars event, helps companies to provide better customer care across multiple digital and social channels.

“I was lucky,” explained Barmby. “My first developer was a mate so I could get my first product out the door with him.

“Now I’ve got a tech team of around 30 people but getting a guy for £50k as a young entrepreneur just isn’t going to fly.”

Gnatta works across 95 per cent of digital channels in nine different languages.

Despite its rapid growth, Gnatta is in the enviable position of not having taken on any external funding but Barmby admitted he’s now considering external funding.

“It’s much more beneficial to be self-funded,” said Barmby.

“We are having meetings and chats to see what’s out there but we certainly don’t need funding for survival, it’s something that we’ll use as a catalyst for growth.”