How ‘lack of talent’ is holding back Preston tech firms says Vibe Tickets founder

Posted on - 5th September, 2016 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston News
Vibe Tickets founder Luke Massie

Vibe Tickets founder Luke Massie

A Preston entrepreneur has written about the challenges of launching a tech start-up in the city.


Luke Massie, who is the founder of Vibe Tickets, says a ‘lack of talent’ in the technology sector in the North West is a problem.

Writing a LinkedIn article the 23-year-old is running a crowdfunding campaign as a way to raise capital.

He says accessing finance and the lack of talent are the two major barriers for tech firms in Preston, Lancashire and the North West to overcome.

Vibe Tickets is an app allowing fans to exchange tickets to gigs between themselves.

Luke writes: “The lack of talent to tap into in the North West is a problem. Major companies are in a position to offer above-market-rate salaries to attract and hoard developers, even mediocre ones! The best talent will have bespoke roles created for them just to stop them leaving. This leaves start-ups lacking options. Demand significantly outweighs supply and the current climate is a difficult one to operate and compete in.

“Tech start-ups wanting to go from idea to proof of concept find it difficult to get capital. Although Vibe Tickets has been fortunate enough to secure £400,000 in private investment to date, we still have the same battles. Finding what I refer to as “quality capital” is hard.

“I’ll only accept investment if it comes with expertise, access to further capital and industry contacts helping me achieve our goals. In my opinion, there are far to many sharks out there willing to take advantage of early stage start-ups in need of working capital and support. I could be harsh and say that investors that are not providing start-ups with a solution, whether capital or guidance, are part of the problem!”

How Vibe tickets works, watch below:

Luke’s latest round of funding to expand Vibe, which has offices in Lancaster, raised £342,000 in the last fortnight from more than 200 investors – including Lancashire County Council.

Explaining his decision to use crowdfunding, Luke said: “Vibe’s mission, indeed my mission, is to help genuine fans exchange tickets in an open and transparent way. It makes sense to allow the very users of our platform to own apart of it and help shape it. Vibe is a disruptor in its sector. We are crowdfunding so that our users and fans can have a say, and because Institutional Investors, VC’s, family office’s, Private Equity firms all deem a start up like Vibe too high risk to invest in.”

Do you work in tech in Preston or Lancashire? What do you think of Luke’s comments? Let us know in the comments below

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