Tech Nation opens scaleup funding programmes

Tech Nation has today opened applications for seven government-backed growth programmes aimed at accelerating the growth of the UK’s scaleup companies.

The growth network for the UK’s tech firms has relaunched its growth stage and sector programmes: Upscale, Future Fifty, Libra, Applied AI, Fintech, Net Zero as well as launching the new Net Zero X, programme, aimed at later-stage climate-tech companies.

The Fintech programme is also changing to support the fastest-growing areas of UK FinTech and will introducing a new stream for cryptocurrency companies.

Tech nation said that to date the programmes have supported 1,010 companies since its inception in 2014 - including 30 per cent of the UK’s 122 tech ‘unicorns’(with a valuation over $1 billion) and 42 per cent of the UK’s 12 tech ‘decacorns’ (valued above $12 billion) including eToro, Deliveroo, Checkout.com, Blockchain and Revolut.

Successful applicants will have access to peer-to-peer leaning, world-class coaching to support ambitions to scale companies, networking opportunities and brand exposure.
Applications for all programmes are open on the Tech Nation website from 16th May- 28th June.

The programmes, which are government-backed and free to participants, are designed to help scaling companies from all UK regions to overcome common growth challenges and scale faster.

Tech Nation said it is actively seeking to support a diverse range of ambitious firms - across region, gender and ethnicity - to ensure that anyone with an idea and drive in the UK can be supported to succeed.

The average length of time it takes for a company joining one of Tech Nation’s programmes to receive investment is six months (182 days).

In total, Tech Nation has supported 1,010 companies to thrive through its growth programmes, since they began in 2014.

The average length of time it takes for a company joining one of Tech Nation’s programmes to receive investment is six months (182 days), demonstrating the strength of the programme’s insights, coaching and networks to accelerate the growth of the UK scaleups.

Tech Nation said that 46 per cent of companies accepted onto its programmes come from outside of London. Examples of previous companies to have received investment include Skyscanner (from Edinburgh), Darktrace (from Cambridge) and Monzo (from London), who have received a combined £1.4bn in investment to date.

Following the launch of Tech Nation’s Net Zero growth programme for early-stage climate tech scaleups in 2020, Tech Nation is expanding its offering for climate tech companies by launching a new growth programme for later-stage climate tech scaleups; Net Zero X.
Tech Nation said it is also on a mission to improve diversity and inclusion in the UK tech sector.

Last year, Tech Nation debuted their Libra growth programme to support underrepresented founders and combat racial diversity challenges, after data from the Tech Nation Report 2021 revealed that only 0.24 per cent of the 1.7 per cent of UK VC investment invested in ethnic minority founders in 2020 had gone to Black entrepreneurs.

Following the launch of the first Libra programme, several of the companies in the first Libra cohort have raised Seed funding already (including Framework, who raised over $2mn in seed funding this year).

In 2022, Tech Nation is expanding their Libra offering, with the second iteration not focussing exclusively on founders who self-identify as Black or Multiracial but also including all other ethnic minority groups.

Tech scaleups are encouraged to apply to one of the seven programmes, which include:

Future Fifty: Tech Nation’s longest running programme, now in its 11th round, designed for late-stage tech companies
Upscale: Now in its 8th round, designed for mid-stage tech scaleups
Libra: Programme launched last year for early-stage tech companies with underrepresented founders
Applied AI: Designed for AI scaleups, now in its 4th round
Fintech: For fintech scaleups, now in its 5th round
Net Zero: For early-stage climate tech companies, now in its 3rd round
Net Zero X: Tech Nation’s newly launched growth programme for later-stage climate tech companies

Gerard Grech, Founding Chief Executive at Tech Nation, said: “Tech Nation’s mission is to enable the most innovative high growth companies from every part of the UK to scale, and to change the world for the better. We’re proud to launch these latest growth programmes that help businesses drive capital and create jobs, while tackling some of the greatest social, economic and environmental challenges of our time.

“Our newest growth programmes, Net Zero X and Libra, are actively helping to decarbonise our nation and level the playing field for underrepresented founders in UK tech. We’re privileged to have supported over 4000 tech businesses to scale and succeed, including 37 of the UK’s tech 122 ‘unicorns’ , who have collectively raised $22 billion in venture capital investment, and 5 of the UK’s tech 12 ‘decacorns’”

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