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Start-up businesses in the UK offer better investment prospects than those in the United States, a panelist from the BBC’s Dragon’s Den programme has told a London conference on innovation.

Doug Richard, chairman of Library House and the keynote speaker at yesterday’s UK Technology Innovation and Growth Forum, told an audience of investors, industry experts and new entrepreneurs that the huge choice of start-ups available for investment in the UK gives British entrepreneurs an edge over their American rivals.

"Venture capitalists who want to invest in innovative start-ups should focus their attention on the United Kingdom," Richard said.

"Right now, there are more opportunities for investment in the UK than in the US, and they're better priced as well."

For technology companies, in particular, he said there are many more advantages to being based in the UK than in the United States.

"It’s a more mobile market and there is access to lower development costs through outsourcing," Richard said.

He cited the success of London-based Skype, recently bought by eBay for $2.6bn, as evidence that technology start-ups don’t need to be based in America to be successful.

Some 500 people attended the conference, which opened yesterday with company presentations and culminates today.

Copyright © 2006, Startups.co.uk

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