UK Election: Why Now is the Time for Founders to Engage with the New Government

By Founders Comms // 9 July 2024

Peter Kyle MP, the new Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology.
Peter Kyle MP is the new Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology.

Founders Comms explains how a new UK government offers a fresh opportunity for startup founders to influence policy.

The recent UK election presents a wealth of opportunities for startups and scaleups looking to influence policy outcomes, but engagement with the new Labour administration must be carefully thought through.

Throughout the general election campaign, and over the last few days, Labour has been clear that kickstarting economic growth is the number one priority. This is promising for the entire UK tech ecosystem, which is seen by all major parties as a crucial driver of growth.

It presents an immediate opportunity to align your startup or scaleup with the new government, by demonstrating how your ambitious scaling goals contribute to the broader growth agenda. If you can show you’re on the same page now, it’s more likely future policy advocacy will be welcomed.

Why does this matter? Engaging with government and policy makers is important – for ensuring you understand current or impending regulation, for getting the backing of important policy-shapers as you disrupt markets, and crucially, helping to create the soft power that can help your company’s favourability and growth. 

Take a health scaleup. The Labour manifesto pledged to streamline public procurement, providing a faster route to get new products into the NHS. Incoming Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Wes Streeting, has expressed a strong belief in the necessity of public and private collaboration for increasing efficiency and solving the NHS crisis. Engaging with Streeting’s team now could help your health tech commercially, creating a clearer path for growth.

And climate? The manifesto was clear that, under new Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Ed Miliband, Britain would unlock “trillions” of pounds in private capital, with a £1 billion pledge of government investment to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technology. Showcasing your company’s role in reaching net zero will ensure you get the important government go-ahead and investment – vital in the rapidly expanding climate tech sector.  

If you’re keen to exert maximum policy influence on behalf of your startup or scaleup, there’s an essential three stage process to kick things off:

1. Research & scoping

Take a look at who’s in charge and their wider teams: who are your potential allies? Don’t forget civil servants: the people charged with actually implementing the government’s new legislative agenda. Your startup or scaleup can gain influence by offering specialist knowledge and guidance, which will allow you to effectively disrupt a market or create an entirely new one. Continue to keep your eyes and ears open as the new government develops a detailed plan.

2. Map your stakeholders

Now you know who’s who, establish your engagement priorities. Map decision makers based on both their level of influence, and their attitude towards your startup or scaleup’s policy agenda, ensuring that interventions are as targeted as possible.

3. Develop your policy position and create a plan

Only once the research and stakeholder mapping stages are complete is it possible to create a comprehensive public affairs strategy including developing the policy area/s you want to contribute to. Keep it simple – it could be defining the one policy issue or topic that really matters to your company. 

Though there’s never a bad time to work with policy and public affairs advisors, this post-election period offers a particular opportunity to get ahead. MPs are in new briefs, looking for experts – and ready to listen. 

From a public affairs perspective, change in government is a critical inflection point which may not happen again for a decade or longer. If you aspire to establish your startup or scaleup as a leading voice in your field, the time to act is now.

To find out more about how Founders Comms can support your startup or scaleup, get in touch at or check out the website here.