Today brings news of £10 billion in private investment over the next five years as part of a plan to relaunch the Tech Nation brand announced today.
Carolyn Dawson OBE, London Tech Week lead and CEO of Founders Forum Group, unveiled the plans as part of a keynote address at the official opening of Birmingham Tech Week.
Dawson laid out her vision for the expanded future of the startup champion, including the ambition to facilitate £10 billion of investment and a commitment to ensuring half of Tech Nation’s UK startup network is based outside the capital.
Tech Nation is a leading growth platform for UK tech companies. It fuels the growth of game-changing founders, leaders, and scaling companies so they can positively transform societies and economies. The organisation provides coaching, content, and community through growth programmes, events, research and insights.
Earlier this year, Tech Nation — which has supported the likes of Monzo, Revolut and Ocado — lost its government grant funding (its main income source) to Barclays tech business incubator Eagle Labs and closed its doors.
The formerly government-funded organisation has played a pivotal role in the UK tech ecosystem since its launch in 2014. 30 percent of all Tech Nation has ten years of experience facilitating and helping UK tech companies scale, both at home and abroad. #
Over 40 cohorts and 1300 companies have successfully graduated from Tech Nation’s growth programmes. Alumni include Skyscanner, Darktrace, and Monzo, as well as three of the UK’s ‘decacorns’: Revolut, Wise, and Farfetch.
Since 2014, participants have gone on to raise £28.1 billion after attending a Tech Nation scheme.
Support for disabled founders and disability tech
Backed by Motability Operations, Tech Nation will also launch a first-of-its-kind community for disabled founders and founders building technologies for the disabled community.
It's unclear what this community means in practice and whether it translates to specific recruitment, funding, mentoring, or other forms of support, or whether Tech Nation will commit to ensuring disabled people are represented in all intake cohorts.
Speaking at the launch, Dawson said:
“The new Tech Nation will champion the startup scene - advocating for its needs, supporting international reach and fuelling the investment that will create the next generation of unicorns.
“We will help startups from Inverness to Eastbourne to develop global reach, finding opportunities, investment and advice across Europe, North America and Asia. And we will facilitate £10 billion of private investment into startups in the next five years.”
Tech Nation will also retain the role of serving as an endorsing partner for the Home Office on the Global Talent Visa.
Plans are also underway to launch a suite of opportunities for international talent after they have entered the UK.
Founders Forum Group co-founder and Chair, Brent Hoberman said:
“The time is ripe for a new champion for the most exciting new businesses. We will fight for their needs, not only by representing the interests of founders with government, but also by helping them to build connections and grow from startup to scale-up.
“In a tough funding environment, we will help the UK continue its momentum as the European magnet for technology entrepreneurs.”
Tech Nation will also be supported by HSBC Innovation Banking, which is serving as a Founding Partner, supporting across Tech Nation initiatives.
Lead image: Tech Nation.